The Minister has a threefold responsibility with regard to helping students stay in school and succeed.
Firstly, she approves the frameworks, policies and programs that are developed to help students stay in school and succeed, and are applied by the school boards and schools. To ensure that the support measures are pertinent and effective, the Minister may also request that changes be made to them, as is currently the case for the Homework Assistance program and the New Approaches, New Solutions intervention strategy.
It is also the Minister’s responsibility to guide the actions of the school boards, to set the objectives for them to attain, and to agree to the means used for attaining these objectives. This will be implemented through partnership agreements that will be signed with the school boards over the coming year. These agreements will clearly establish the results expected as well as the roles and responsibilities of each level.
Finally, the Minister has a responsibility for mobilizing the education community. She will therefore be present in the regions in the coming months, meeting with teachers to give them her support in their demanding but inspiring work, and discuss with them the important role in student success.
More than ever, students must be recognized as the main artisans of their success and must play an active role in educational measures that concern them. In contexts that may sometimes be difficult, their personal commitment to learning and their ability to demonstrate a positive attitude are essential to their success. To maintain their commitment, students will need the support of their parents and their teachers, and sometimes that of other members of the community. Students experiencing difficulties of any kind must be given guidance and support throughout their studies and offered solutions that are flexible and adapted to their needs.
Parents know their children better than anyone else and are thus key partners of the education community. The essential role they play must be recognized, especially during the transitions their children go through in the course of their schooling. They can provide important support by:
- valuing education
- showing perseverance in their own endeavours
- recognizing the effort required to learn
- having high but realistic expectations for their children
- using every means at their disposal to guide their children toward success
They also have a responsibility to collaborate closely with the school, informing it of anything unusual with regard to their children’s commitment to their education. Consistency between the actions of the family and the school is of great importance for students’ success and for their perseverance in school.
It is crucial that schools be able to count on competent teachers. Teachers must be effective partners. They are best placed to detect students’ difficulties and take action to support their success. Their task, which is often complex, is to provide conditions conducive to success for all students in their classes and, where applicable, to implement the appropriate individualized education plans for students with difficulties, with the cooperation of other professional and support resources.
Teachers also have a responsibility for ongoing professional development so as to keep their knowledge up to date. This responsibility is shared with the school boards, which have to facilitate access to programs of study for their personnel or provide them with customized training.
Teachers can make a difference in their students’ progress in school through their expertise, their sense of innovation, their ability to work in teams and their commitment to their students. They should also be able to count on their students’ commitment and the support of the students’ parents. In addition, they need the support of the school administration, the complementary educational services staff, their school board, their community and MEES.
Administrators of educational institutions
School administrators and directors of vocational training centres and adult education centres are responsible for the day-to-day running of educational institutions that must meet many challenges. They are at the centre of the action, and they know the students, parents, teachers, complementary educational services staff and the school’s various partners. They have a responsibility to mobilize their teams, bring people together and coordinate their work by involving, where appropriate, the governing board, parents and other partners, especially those in health and social services and community groups. They also have to encourage participation and a sense of belonging in the school by creating a stimulating environment that reflects the students.
Directors general of school boards
Directors general of school boards should ensure that, in the first place, their schools meet the needs of the students under their responsibility with flexibility and adaptability. As the immediate superiors of the administrators of the educational institutions, they have a duty to understand the specific context of their schools, to support them and to provide them with the conditions and resources needed to attain the objectives set out in the management and educational success agreements that must be established annually. They thus enable schools to implement structured initiatives whose first objective is to help students stay in school and succeed.
Presidents of school boards
School board presidents must be in the forefront of endeavours to promote education and public schools in all regions of Québec. They are the primary spokespersons with regard to efforts to help students stay in school and succeed.
They must also mobilize parents, mayors, employers, and social, community and business groups and organizations that can help support young people in their territory.
Students live in a community that contributes to their development. Helping students stay in school and succeed must be part of the concerns of people and groups that shape young people’s future, whether they are in the municipal sector, cultural organizations, recreation and sports, or community groups. Leaders have a responsibility to mobilize their community behind this cause. The Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean region can serve as an example of this kind of mobilization.
The working world
Large and small businesses have a responsibility to promote education among young people. The social importance of their commitment to respect hiring and management conditions that are conducive to young people’s graduation from school has been demonstrated. They must reduce work hours for students who work after school, provide opportunities for student placements and do more to promote balance between work and studies.
The Tables régionales d’éducation interordres
The Tables régionales d’éducation interordres, which bring together representatives of school boards, colleges and universities, must play a vital role in helping students in the regions of Québec stay in school and succeed. More than ever, they are called on to be points of convergence of local and regional forces and poles of innovation and action. They should also promote vocational and technical training for the occupations that exist in their territory.