Exceeded by the shortage of teachers in primary and secondary schools, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge calls for help to those who left “out of spite”, asking them to return to the fold.
“We do not have their phone numbers, because I think that I will call them personally to tell them:” we need you, come back, we believe in you, we will help you to help the students “,” launched Mr. Roberge in a press briefing on Tuesday.
He reacted to the numerous reports on the lack of substitute teachers in the schools. Radio-Canada revealed among other things that at the Laval school board, up to 40% of teachers are not replaced when they are absent.
Mr. Roberge maintains that his government is “taken with this inheritance” and that it must “repair the damage”. If he has several ideas to counter the shortage of teachers in the medium and long term, Mr. Roberge believes that in the very short term, the best solution is “to bring back teachers who have left the profession, who have their patent, who taught a few years, but left out of spite. Because they saw that the government cut off professional help, did not support them. ”
The Minister of Education promises “good news” in the budget to be tabled Thursday for the promotion of the teaching profession and professional help. “We are going to send a very clear signal that teachers are not left to their own devices in classrooms.”
His government also committed to raising the salaries of young teachers. “Starting next September, we will implement our mentoring program, to ensure that new teachers succeed in their insertion,” he adds.
An academic study showed a few years ago that up to 25% of teachers with less than five years of experience drop out of the profession. Mr. Roberge did not evaluate their number, but calculates that they would be “a few thousand” to be able to start teaching again.
In collaboration with the President of the Treasury Board, Roberge is also trying to bring school principals and retired teachers back to work. Work is under way to prevent these pensioners from being penalized financially if they “come back to give a hand in the network”.