(Quebec) A non-legally qualified teacher, who only has a secondary school diploma (DES), is better than no teacher at all, believes Bernard Drainville.
The Minister of Education reacted on Thursday to the data obtained by The Journal of Quebec which show that at least three teachers holding only a DES were given a class last year in the public network.
No less than 541 teachers only had a diploma of college studies (DEC).
“The reason why we find ourselves in this situation is that we are in a situation of shortage,” explained Mr. Drainville in a press scrum at the National Assembly.
“It’s not the first choice, of course, but if the choice is between someone who is not legally qualified and no one at all…that’s the dilemma we’re in right now. . »
The Minister recalled that there is a new fast track of 30 university credits for people who already hold a bachelor’s degree and who want to qualify as a teacher.
He added that he was trying “by all means” to retain teachers in the network and to attract new ones.
“I wrote a letter to retired teachers asking them to consider coming back to lend a hand. It could be a day or two a week, […] it could be full-time too,” he said.
Last week, Auditor General Guylaine Leclerc expressed concern about the high number of unqualified teachers in the public network. She said she feared the consequences for the students.
More than a quarter of teachers who worked in 2020-21 were not legally qualified, she found. Of the 111,151 teachers in the network, 80,630 were qualified and 30,521 were unqualified.
Mme Leclerc deplored that the initiatives of the ministry and school service centers to counter the shortage of qualified teachers were managed “piecemeal”, without an overall view.
Meanwhile, the shortage leads to a decrease in the quality of teaching, and an increase in insecurity and anxiety among students, due to the fact that they undergo repeated changes of teachers, according to her.