|"I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too...ha ha ha!"|
In keeping with the fledgling Marois government's policy of leaping before looking, education minister Marie Malavoy decided to propose sweeping changes to the education system, without as much as a how-do-dee to those in the education ministry and without the slightest consideration for what parents want.
You'd think that after the disastrous spectacle of Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau's political cha-cha-cha (one step forward, two steps back) wherein he jumped the gun by introducing an ill-conceived plan to eliminate the Health tax, only to completely backtrack, Pauline would instruct her ministers to cool it until they better understood the consequences of the proposed policy.
But improvisation seems to suit Marois and it seems that no such instruction has been given to ministers, including Malavoy who will most likely suffer the same fate as the finance minister, when the public roars its disapproval.
Already howls of resistance are being raised and this on the francophone side where Malavoy is trying to put a sovereigntist and anti-English bent in the education of francophone children, despite overwhelming parental support for the wider teaching of English.
And so Madame Malavoy is rushing to restrict English in the early grades and is set to re-examine (and likely reverse) the not-yet implemented plan to give grade six students a half year taught exclusively in English as well as implementing other measures meant to indoctrinate and politicize students towards the PQ way of thinking.
Parents are not at all amused and the media is giving her a thorough and ferocious lashing, concluding quite rightly that Malavoy is setting the education department to a partisan separatist agenda.
This cartoon by the talented political cartoonist YGRECK says it all;
|"Repeat after me : We Salute you Pauline" Thanks to R.S. for the link.|
The subject of broaching the 'national question' in class evoked quite a reaction in the press, so much so that the question of the new emphasis on Quebec history was largely overshadowed.
When I saw our good friend Gilles Proulx railing on television, the very next day, that students know nothing of Quebec history, I realized exactly what Madame Malavoy's intentions were in bringing history to the forefront.
Madame Malavoy and Mr. Proulx remain disappointed that students do not suffer from the victimization syndrome that characterizes old time separatists, who look at history as one defeat after another and one humiliation after another.
That is what they want to teach, the idea of Quebecers as the oppressed victims of the English.
According to their calculations students aren't sufficiently averse to the evils of the English and need a dose of slanted history that depicts francophones suffering at the hands of the evil colonialists including the Plains of Abraham, Lord Durham, General Amhearst, Meech Lake, the night of the long knives, persecution, domination, assimilation, etc. etc.
That is the plan...
But when I say Malavoy is Quebec's worst nightmare it is not because of her sovereignty pipe dreams, it is her desire to impose her dangerous bankrupt ultra left-wing wing agenda.
The shuddering policy proposal that Malavoy hopes to impose is the dumbing down of the private school system where she wants to do what that the government has done on the public system, that is to transform a decently functioning education system into something mediocre and dysfunctional.
The great reform that Quebec implemented years ago transformed the education system into a touchy-feely exercise that emphasised participation, empathy and non-competition.
Grades were replaced by cycles and report cards no longer 'judged' students harshly, so as not to undermine their egos, much to the consternation of parents who could no longer follow the progress of their children.
Hmmm...."The way the subjects in the program are taught is designed to enable your child to master them, and also to acquire, and then develop, certain competencies:
- Intellectual Competencies
- Personal and Social Competencies
- Competencies Related to Working Methods
- Communication-Related CompetenciesThe competencies addressed in the program will be useful to your child throughout his or her life.Your child will learn not only by memorizing, but also by working on concrete activities or projects that draw on or develop his or her abilities. Thus, in addition to drawing 'a' or 'o' in an exercise book or counting imaginary apples and pears, your child may learn to read or add by participating in a group project." Link
But the very worst of the reform was the elimination of the 'special ed' class, which dumped the academically challenged into regular classes in order to become more inclusive, with the predictable result that the whole class was retarded (pardon the very bad pun) as teachers were forced to slow down progress to the lowest common denominator.
This is what Malavoy wants to see in the private schools, the elimination of elite programs that demand elite students, which goes against her left-wing dogma of equality.
What she seems to forget is that there are some elite public schools (known as 'international schools) that also demand competency tests for students wishing to score a coveted place.
And so Malavoy is demanding that the private schools eliminate competency entrance exams and incorporate special education students as in the public system, or else she will cut the subsidy that these schools receive.
By the way, private schools receive public money to the tune of 60% of what is spent per student in the public sector, so that each student in the private system represents a 40% saving to the government.
It is important to understand that the PQ's constituency is largely against the very idea of private schools on principle, and want the government to eliminate the subsidy completely.
The unions, the public service and the education department cannot stand the competition and would like nothing more than the demise of the private school system, which is tiny to begin with, educating around 6% of the student population.
It is the very notion of egalitarianism that drives the opponents of private schools who find the idea of 'elitism' offensive.
Soon Madame Malavoy will demand that high school sports teams refrain from selecting the best athletes and accept all who apply, perhaps preparing students for the real world, a world where the Montreal Canadiens accept a few handicapped players in order to remain inclusive.
That is not where we are going, we are already there.
It has gotten to the point where you don't even need to graduate high school to be accepted into cegep.
The French have a phrase for it, 'niveler par le bas.' in English we say 'the lowest common denominator.
Welcome to Marie Malavoy's brave new world.