Parents of primary and secondary school students who request that their child learn at a distance for health reasons will need to obtain a new medical certificate. Exemptions granted last school year will have to be re-validated, the Ministry of Education confirmed I have to.
School attendance will be mandatory from the beginning of the school year, by two weeks, but Quebec will again allow students with a specific health problem to take distance courses if they have a doctor’s certificate. For example, immunocompromised students could take courses online to reduce their risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.
Exemptions granted last year will not be automatically renewed. Due to the rise of the Delta option, Public Health is revising the rules to allow dropping out of school for health reasons. These revised criteria will be presented in the coming days.
“School organizations will provide distance learning services to properly liberated students, as confirmed by a recent medical report,” said Esther Chouinard, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education.
“It is important to clarify that last year’s exceptions cannot be considered still valid, as the person’s status as well as the rules in force may have changed. […] The public health service will inform doctors and they will be able to assess whether they will release their patients or not, “he adds.
Measures will be specified
The Regroupement des Comités de Parents Autonomes du Québec welcomes the return of distance learning for students with more vulnerable health. how this teaching will be provided.
It will also be necessary to determine what services will be offered to students who have to isolate themselves in the classroom during the COVID-19 outbreak, the group said. Last year, a remote school was offered if the whole group was placed in isolation, but not necessarily if only one or two students had to stay at home.
“Every student who is absent for more than two days must be offered daily services that will allow him to continue his education despite his absence from school,” said Esther Chouinard of the Ministry of Education. The school has a duty to “establish direct and daily contact with students in order to ensure their education”. It must also ensure that students have access to a computer or digital tablet as well as educational materials at home.
Avoid “comodal” learning
Teachers also demand “clear guidelines” for overseeing the distance education of exempt students. “These children have the right to attend school, but we need to find dedicated teachers and budgets to be able to do this distance learning. We will not do this in a workload of our personal time, “said Josée Scalabrini, President of the Federation of Teachers’ Unions (FSE-CSQ).
The union leader warns the ministry and service centers against the temptation to introduce “co-modal” education, a method that involves installing a classroom camera to broadcast live hours to students who are at home.
Pilot projects to test this way of teaching have taken place in the classroom over the past year, but teachers generally do not appreciate this experience, she says.yes Scalabrini. “A child’s family can see things happening in the classroom that they don’t understand without the classroom context. It’s really not ideal for teaching. »