Action Strategy on Student Retention and Student Success

All together for student success

In the past several years, the government and the education community have devoted substantial resources to encouraging young people to stay in school, but there are still too many students who leave school without a diploma or other qualifications. The urgent need for action has been brought up several times in recent months, for example, at the Assises régionales sur la lutte au décrochage , an initiative of the Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec, and by the Groupe d’action sur la persévérance et la réussite scolaires au Québec, led by L. Jacques Ménard, President of BMO Financial Group.

We must do everything possible to improve the graduation rate, first of all for the young people themselves, whose future depends directly on their education, and also for Québec, which needs its young people in order to meet the social, economic and cultural challenges facing it. Encouraged by the support that has been expressed by civil society, the government intends to pursue this objective.

The various people who have recently contributed to the discussion of ways to reduce the number of school dropouts appear to agree on two observations.

Firstly, it has become clear that schools alone can no longer assume the entire responsibility for helping students to stay in school and succeed: the reasons students leave school are often outside the school, and it is impossible to make progress without close cooperation from parents, the community and the working world. Furthermore, improving the situation requires that everyone involved share a common vision and that they forge links in order to work together, school by school and region by region. In the course of the coming months, we plan to take the necessary actions to mobilize parents, the education community and other players around shared objectives.

Secondly, it has become necessary to promote education more, particularly within the public system, so that success in school becomes a fundamental value of our society. Promoting education means demonstrating the high value of education, but also giving students activities and projects that can elicit their full involvement and lead to success.

Students need to know that we are behind them and we believe in them; we have to show our solidarity with their efforts and our pride in their success. I suggest we all adopt the slogan “I care about school!”

One reality, one objective, various means: let us be partners in our children’s success.