Consulting the public on education in Quebec

To address the many challenges facing the province’s schools, the Observatoire pour l’éducation et la santé des enfants launches "United for School: My Voice, Our Impact!"

A new Quebec-wide consultation this spring will aim to identify priority issues for the province’s schools - and innovative solutions to address them.

Led by Université de Montréal public-health professor Sylvana Côté , the initiative was launched today by the Observatoire pour l’éducation et la santé des enfants (OPES).

With input from parents, teaching and non-teaching staff, school principals, school service centres and community partners, the consultation will provide an overview of priorities and potential solutions, marking the start of a collaborative approach to increasing academic success and well-being at schools across Quebec.

The " United for School: My Voice, Our Impact! " project comprises two short online surveys. The first, from April 15 to 28, is aimed at identifying the issues that need to be addressed and solutions that will be proposed. The second, which will consolidate those solutions and assess their potential impact, will be held from May 13 to 26.

A wider scope than consultations in the past

Previous consultations were limited: they didn’t bring together all the stakeholders or address all the issues that have a daily influence on students’ academic success, health and well-being, the organizers of the new consultation say.

Also unknown is whether priorities are shared or differ between stakeholders or between regions in Quebec. It’s hoped the new consultation will generate better understanding that will lead to the drafting of high-impact strategies and concrete, sustainable solutions.

"By drawing on the views and experience of parents, school staff and the organizations that support them, we will work together to identify the priority targets and strategies most likely to have an impact," said UdeM professor Isabelle Ouellet-Morin , the consultation’s principal researcher and director of the social innovation at OPES.

"This collaborative project is a driving force for change, not only to better identify the priorities requiring our attention, but above all to initiate a pooling of our knowledge more likely to support the subsequent dissemination and implementation of best practices," she said.

Where the system is lacking

A number of recent studies and polls highlight the ongoing problems in education in Quebec.
  • In 2022, approximately one in six students reported being the target of bullying at school, and this prevalence is three times higher among transgender or non-binary students, according to a study by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.
  • In 2018, half of the 9,000 Montreal teachers consulted in a survey by the Alliance des professeurs et professeurs de Montréal would like to reorient their careers or change school service centers due to exhaustion, overload and poor working conditions.
  • In a 2020 poll by Partenaires pour la réussite éducative en Chaudière-Appalaches, when asked about the reasons hindering their child’s academic success, one in four parents cited lack of interest or motivation, while one in 10 pointed to learning difficulties and costs.

Support from numerous partners

To carry out its consultation, the Observatoire pour l’éducation et la santé des enfants is being supported by a cross-section of partners in the Quebec education system. Here’s what some of them have to say.

"The Regroupement des comités de parents autonomes du Québec will always be ready to support and assist rigorous educational research. This research is essential to guide our collective orientations in order to optimize and improve our school system and thus promote the well-being and success of our children."

- Sylvain Martel , strategic advisor and spokesperson for the Regroupement des comités de parents autonomes du Québec (RCPAQ) "This research deserves our full attention, because education is the foundation of a society. Our schools are living environments in which each and every one of us must be able to blossom and forge ourselves into the adults of tomorrow. Through this consultation, with their willingness to contribute to collective efforts, parents and community organizations will be able to bring their perspectives to bear on the issues that are shaping the education community. Being a parent means wanting to ensure a sunny future for future generations."

- Alex Gauthier , executive director of the Fédération québécoise des organismes communautaires Famille (FQOCF) "The Réseau québécois pour la réussite éducative welcomes and supports this initiative. Major education surveys, as important as they are, must be coupled with feedback from the field. These are essential to making the right decisions and implementing the measures that work best."

- Andrée Mayer-Périard, president, Réseau québécois pour la réussite éducative

"Active participation in the ’United for School: My Voice, Our Impact!’ consultation is pivotal. It’s not just about voicing our concerns; it’s about actively shaping the future of education for our children. Let us come together, exchange our perspectives, and work collaboratively to bring about meaningful transformation."

- Katherine Korakakis, president of the English Parents’ Committee Association of Quebec (EPCA Quebec)

All partners supporting the consultation include:

Montreal Association of School Administrators (AMDES)

Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE)

Fédération des syndicats de l’enseignement (FSE-CSQ)

Fédération des établissements d’enseignement privés (FEEP)

Fédération du personnel de l’enseignement privé (FPEP-CSQ)

Fédération des professionnelles et professionnels de l’éducation (FPPE-CSQ)

Fédération des comités de parents du Québec

Fédération des établissements d’enseignement privés

Regroupement des maisons des jeunes du Québec (RMJQ)

Regroupement des organismes jeunesse autonomes du Québec (ROCAJQ)

Fédération des centres de services scolaires du Québec

Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA)

Debout pour l’école

Réseau réussite Montréal

Centre de transfert pour la réussite éducative du Québec (CTREQ)

Comité québécois pour les jeunes en difficulté du comportement (CQJDC)

Centre de services scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys

Partenaire pour la réussite éducative de Chaudière-Appalaches

Direction de soutien au milieu scolaire et aux partenaires de l’éducation, ministère de l’Éducation du Québec

Professors from Université de Montréal, Université Laval and McGill Universit

How you can get involved

To make your voice heard, go to­s/ideation

Katherine Korakakis, president of the English Parents’ Committee Association of Quebec (EPCA Quebec: 514’778 -EPCA (3722), president(at)