(Qebec) The Department of Education is “antiquated” slow, uses little reliable data, and officials could be invited to “take on new challenges elsewhere.” The minister François Blais himself says, according to a document obtained .
This document, which circulates in academia, is the minutes of a meeting held on September 18 between Mr. Blais and 12 representatives of the Association of Deans, Deans and Directors, guidelines for the study and educational research in Québec (ADEREQ). They work for the University of Montreal, UQAM, McGill and Laval University, among others.
Reached by La Presse yesterday, Mr. Blais said he does not remember having called his ministry “antiquated,” but acknowledged that he has work to do to raise more “reliable data” . The Minister was keen to say that he has “the utmost respect for the public service.”
Few reliable data
At the meeting of 18 September, François Blais ADEREQ informed of its intention to impose stricter entry requirements to B.Ed., a plan that La Presse revealed last spring. But the way he talked in terms unflattering his own department, according to the minutes of four pages.
“He worries that his Ministry is” outdated “people” work very little with the search results. ” He was surprised how little reliable data at his disposal and the slowness with which the answers come, “it said. The passages in quotation marks, like the word “quaint” are in the document and therefore would be the words used by the minister that day.
Also according to the report, a member of the Association, unidentified, uses words that are in line with those of the Minister.
He argues that “it would be possible to improve the training curriculum in schools through better use of research results, but there is resistance within the department. Invited experts are often selected based on their consistent epistemological position with that of some officials. The usefulness of a more neutral body that would enlighten decisions based on evidence, is mentioned. ”
The precise Minister on two occasions that he “works for the government and not the Ministry,” he “is not here to represent or defend the departmental officials.” “You can invite people” to take on new challenges elsewhere “” Will he even say, the document said.
The Higher Council of Education flayed
The Minister is hesitant about creating an “institute” independent. He wondered whether such a body would be likely to lead the Ministry to “transform”. A senior Council of Education (CSE) exists to assist the Minister, François Blais but the galls.
“The Minister says the CSE and the fact that some devices may have been useful, but so are more relevant now.”
A member of the Association cites as an example the health sector, where “independent and complementary structures advise the Ministry” as the INSPQ and INESSS.
The remarks made in private by the Minister shed light on at least one of his recent public statements.
In announcing the abandonment of the proposed merger of school boards, he explained that the “assumptions” about the savings that could be identified were “not sufficiently robust”. But his ministry was working on these assumptions for a year or longer.
In the field of education, the minister over the officials eventually called to “take on new challenges elsewhere” hardly surprised.
Sources observe for a while now that the organizational structure of the Ministry has been turned upside down since Franqois Blais replaced Yves Bolduc in February.
The Deputy Minister Marie-Claude Champoux, former press secretary of Jean Charest, was transferred to Culture. Sylvie Barcelo succeeded him. Senior officials at the Higher Education, Lise Verreault and Pierre Boutet, have also left the Department.
In an interview with La Presse, the Minister Blais said that the meeting with the ADEREQ was “very difficult”. Deans of faculties of education are opposed to any change in the conditions for admission to education in tray, he lamented. Nevertheless, some elements confirms the record.
“I said that I agreed with them, as if they considered that we did not use enough evidence in the decisions of the Ministry, I fully followed,” he said.
“We have a lot of reliable data on many things, but we see that it takes us yet. There are many things we can still work in the Ministry to collect reliable data. ”
Still, “we do not take decisions here blind,” he insisted.
It is “very satisfied with the current dynamic” in the department. However, it adds that “there are challenges as everywhere in all organizations.” He did not enter into details.
“It’s not always easy for the public service to adapt to a new government, a new Minister,” he reported. However, officials have proven in the past that they are “able to adapt,” he said.