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The Conversation Continues

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Although AQED issued a formal notice to the Ministry of Education on May 19, our conversation with the DEM is ongoing. The following is a summary of the May 27th inter-association meeting (AQED, ACPEQ and HSLDA) with the DEM.

English-speaking youth without a Certificate of Eligibility for English-language Education

Children who do not have a certificate of eligibility to study in an English school may still take the Ministry’s exams in English. The DEM will match these families with an English school board (SB) to administer the tests. However, taking these exams is not sufficient to obtain a Quebec High School Diploma (HSD). Except for the History exam in Secondary 4 (not administered this year), the ministry exams do not cover all the competencies of a subject. To obtain the required units, the student will either have to be evaluated in French by his or her school service centre (CSS) or through an unsubsidized private English school. The same applies to optional subjects that provide the necessary credits for the HSD. For more information on this subject, we invite you to read the post Homeschooling in High School.

Section 6 of the Regulation

“The Minister is to provide assistance to the parents if they so require to develop the learning project.”

The DEM expressed surprise that few parents seek this assistance. AQED reiterated that it can be difficult for parents to ask for assistance, considering that the DEM is also acting as a judge in their case. We therefore proposed that they create a team dedicated solely to supporting families. 

Timeframe for Feedback

We reminded the DEM that we would like to have specific timeframes for feedback from monitoring agents (document in French only) to avoid having learning project enhancements requested in May, or having changes requested to a portfolio that was submitted in September. Unfortunately, we have not received any specific response on this subject, other than to report these situations to them as these deadlines are not considered normal.

File Closure and Review Procedures 

Recently, AQED has been made aware of several cases where the file appeared to be closed very quickly by the DEM. In addition, when the request for review was made, the same people were present as those involved in the dispute. We asked to have, in writing, the procedures for closing a file and requesting  review of a decision. 

The DEM assures us that they have clear, neutral and lawyer-marked procedures. We therefore expect them to share them with us.

Clear and Uniform Instructions

Finally, we reaffirmed our request to have clear and uniform instructions from the Ministry of Education, the DEM, the monitoring agents or the SB/SSC. As a general rule, the DEM manages files on a case-by-case basis and asks us to send them the most problematic situations. We have insisted that it is not a matter of two or three cases per year, but that it is the majority of our members who experience unsatisfactory situations. 

The DEM seems to have taken note of several elements of the conversation. We hope to see some action on their part.