Reform Update of April 16, 1998, No. 6
The first two issues of
Education Reform Update devoted to Bill 180 (the Act to amend
the Education Act and various legislative provisions) focused on the main policies
concerning the new powers of schools, the composition and mandate of the governing
board, and the role of the school principal and teachers. They also included
a timetable showing when the various provisions of the new Act are to be implemented.
This issue discusses the
mandates of the new vocational education centres and adult education centres
as well as the new forums for participation and partnership created by the Bill
within both the school and the Ministère.
the Distinctive Nature of Vocational Education
Bill 180 confirms the distinctive
nature of vocational education by stating that it will be governed by a separate
basic school regulation. The Bill also provides for the creation of vocational
education centres that will be separate from secondary schools which, for their
part, will continue to dispense general education.
Each of the new vocational
education centres will have a governing board whose composition will reflect
the specific characteristics of this type of education. The board will include
students enrolled at the centre, at least four staff members, two representatives
of socio-economic or community groups, two representatives of businesses in
the region whose sectors of activity are linked to the vocational education
programs offered at the centre, and finally, two parents of students enrolled
at the centre.
The principal of the centre
takes part in meetings of the governing board but is not entitled to vote.
There is a maximum of twenty
seats on the governing board and, as in schools, the seats are equally divided
between school staff and other members who are entitled to vote.
The mandate of the governing
board of a vocational education centre is the following:
- to determine the centres
policies and plan of action;
- to approve proposals
made by the principal concerning the approach for implementing the basic school
regulation, programs of study and programs relating to student and popular
education services, and concerning the centres rules of operation.
The governing board may
also organize social, cultural or sports activities, allow that they be organized
by others, or enter into agreements with individuals or groups for the provision
of goods and services.
The professional autonomy
of teachers is respected since it is they who propose the standards for the
introduction of new teaching methods, the choice of textbooks and teaching materials,
and standards and procedures for the evaluation of student achievement, and
submit them to the principal for approval.
Autonomy for Adult Education Services
Bill 180 grants adult education
centres greater autonomy. Each adult education centre will have its own governing
board, whose mandate is the same as that of a vocational education centre. The
composition of the board is also similar, with the exception that students
parents are not represented. Likewise, the principal and the teachers enjoy
the same prerogatives.
When more than one governing
board is established in the same building, as in a building which houses a secondary
school offering general education and a vocational education centre, under the
Bill, a coordinating committee may be set up by the school board at the request
of the governing boards. The functions and powers of the coordinating committee
are determined by an agreement between the governing boards. In such cases,
the school board may also appoint a single principal for all institutions.
and Students Active Participation
The Bill creates two forums
to encourage parents and secondary school students to get involved in school
One of the goals of the
education reform is to give users of the school a greater say in decisions.
The fact that parents are represented on the governing board gives new meaning
to parent participation.
Bill 180 goes even further
in order to encourage as many parents as possible to get involved in school
life: at their general meeting, parents may decide to form their own parent
The purpose of this organization
is to enlist the cooperation of parents in developing, implementing, and periodically
evaluating the schools educational project, and in fostering their childs
academic success. The parents on the governing board may also seek the advice
of this organization.
Given that this organization
must meet local needs, the Bill leaves it to parents to decide on the organizations
composition and rules of operation at their general meeting. Parents at this
meeting may even decide to create such an organization for each building at
the schools disposal.
In addition to the two students
sitting on the governing board, secondary school students will also be closely
involved in defining policy guidelines for their school.
Under the Bill, a student
committee may be formed in all secondary schools offering the second cycle.
The student associations in existence in many schools may gain official recognition
by setting up a student committee. Students may also decide to create a separate
student committee. The role of this committee will be to encourage students
to collaborate in developing, implementing and periodically evaluating the schools
educational project, and to participate in school activities. Students will
elect their representatives at an annual general meeting called by the school
principal. Students will also determine the composition and rules of operation
of the student committee at this general meeting.
Forums for Participation within the Ministère
The Bill provides for the
creation of four advisory bodies whose roles are to assist the Ministère
in implementing its educational policy statement, Québec Schools on
Course. The first two bodies deal with programs and teaching resources,
and the other two, with teacher training.
The Commission des programmes
This curriculum board (or
programs council, as it is called in the Bill) is composed of eleven members
appointed by the Minister. Its mission is to advise the Minister on any matter
relating to programs established by the Minister. It makes recommendations on:
- the general guidelines
and framework for the establishment of programs;
- the timetable for the
development, implementation and review of programs;
- the approval of programs;
- the ongoing adaptation
The Comité d'évaluation
des ressources didactiques
This teaching resource evaluation
committee is composed of thirteen members appointed by the Minister. Its mission
is to advise the Minister on any matter relating to textbooks, teaching materials
or classes of teaching materials. It makes recommendations on:
- the standards for the
approval of teaching resources;
- the approval of teaching
It advises the Minister
on any matter submitted by her in relation to the evaluation, approval, implementation
and review of teaching resources.
The Comité d'agrément
des programmes de formation à l'enseignement
This teacher training accreditation
committee is composed of nine members appointed by the Minister. Its mission
is to advise the Minister on any matter relating to the accreditation of teacher
training programs for the elementary and secondary levels.
- examines and approves
teacher training programs for the preschool, elementary and secondary levels;
- makes recommendations
to the Minister concerning teacher training programs required for the issue
of teaching licences;
- advises the Minister
on the determination of the qualifications required of teachers at the elementary
and secondary levels.
The Comité d'orientation
de la formation du personnel enseignant
This teacher training policy
committee is composed of sixteen members, fifteen of whom are appointed by the
Minister. The sixteenth member is the chair of the teacher training accreditation
committee. The mission of the teacher training policy committee is to advise
the Minister on any matter relating to the teacher training policy for the elementary
and secondary levels.
It may, at the Ministers
request or on its own initiative, propose guidelines and make recommendations
to the Minister on:
- the establishment of
teacher training priorities;
- draft regulations relating
to teacher training;
- teacher training and
- any aspect of the teaching
profession having a connection with teacher training.
SHOULD YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS
about the education reform, please contact the Ministère's regional
office in your area.
next issue will look at:
- The names of the new
linguistic school boards
purpose of Education Reform Update is to keep readers up-to-date on the progress
of the reform set out in A New Direction for Success: Ministerial Plan of Action
for the Reform of the Education System. The newsletter is published by the communications
branch of the ministère de l'Éducation, in cooperation with the
office of the Deputy Minister of Education.
of Communications: Daniel Legault
Coordinator: Michel Moisan
Bibliothèque nationale du Québec
Bibliothèque nationale du Canada
ISSN : 1480-2902 File: 97-0656
Code : 55-1852-06A
Ministère de l'Éducation
1035, rue De La Chevrotière, 11e étage
Québec (Québec) G1R 5A5
Telephone : (418) 644-5816
Fax : (418) 528-2080