[​Projet de loi 96] Social crisis in sight, according to the Fédération des cégeps

The National Assembly will sentence thousands of students to failure on the basis of “social crisis” if it passes Bill 96 in its current form, warns the president of the Federation of CEGEPs, Bernard Tremblay.

He is particularly concerned about the consequences of the obligation to take “at least three courses given in French” imposed on students enrolled in an English-speaking CEGEP, as evidenced by the amended version of the bill, which respects the official and common language of Quebec. French. “There are thousands of students who will not be able to graduate,” Mr Tremblay said in an interview with The duty Wednesday.

More than 35% of the approximately 29,000 students enrolled in English-speaking CEGEPs have insufficient knowledge of the French language to take French courses, he points out, with supporting statistics.

The proportion of students with insufficient knowledge of French varies from one education to another: 57.4% in nursing techniques or 85.9% in childhood teaching techniques, for example.

Bill 96 was recently amended at the instigation of the Liberal Party of Quebec to force all students enrolled in a study program leading to a Diploma of Collegial Studies (DEC) in an English-speaking CEGEP, including those declared eligible for teaching English in primary and secondary school to take at least three courses in French other than French as a second language or courses in physical education. “This change has a catastrophic effect and, of course, a discriminatory effect,” said Mr Tremblay, speaking for the 48 public colleges, including five English-speaking colleges, in Quebec.

“The collision [sera] important for students who have been educated in English in Quebec and who are continuing their studies in an English-speaking CEGEP “, he continues, before asking:” How can the English-speaking community accept that we condemn young English-speaking Quebecers who have the right to according to Canada’s laws to take English courses? How can we ensure that these young people get into a situation of failure? »

The president of the Fédération des cégeps “rebels” against the “lack of sensitivity” of MPs in the National Assembly – who are not specialists in the system of university studies, he notes – and supports this “false solution to the problem of the vitality of French” adopted by the author of Bill 96, Simon Jolin-Barrette, after discussion with PLQ. “We are doing this under the pretext that we want to look good, give the impression that we are solving the problem of French. So we condemn the students to failure. We can not keep quiet, ”he said in a telephone interview.

call for patience

Bernard Tremblay urges the members of the Committee on Culture and Education, which is currently examining the bill to strengthen the Charter for the French Language, to withdraw the obligation for students in English-speaking colleges to take three courses in French, or at least at least to “postpone” its entry into force in order to take the proper action of all its impacts, including on the teaching staff of the college network. “Let’s take the time to do the analysis. Maybe the provision will prove unenforceable. If we were wrong, we would not have put thousands of students in a situation of failure,” he stresses.

Bill 96 “will really change the face of university-level teaching,” according to French-language minister Simon Jolin-Barrette.

The chosen CAQ also intends to introduce a uniform French test on students in the English-speaking university network, with the exception of those declared qualified to teach English in primary and secondary school, in addition to limiting the number of places in English-speaking CEGEPs. . However, he refused to apply Bill 101 to the CEGEPs, to the regret of the Parti Québécois in particular.

“The problem is not on the university’s side. The problem with French, especially in Montreal, is in: English, working language; English, display language; English, the language of administration. He is everywhere,” says Bernard Tremblay.

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