There are more and more initiatives to convince Quebec to change year-end examinations for fourth and fifth secondary students. After the history teachers, it was the turn of science and mathematics teachers to yell from the heart to the Minister of Education, Jean-Francois Robberg, about the topic.
For these teachers, it would be “absurd” to ask students to take the ministerial exams at the end of the year in June 2021 in the same conditions as in previous years, given the exceptional situation the school network is facing at present.
Maintaining the status quo would be utterly “inadequate and inconsistent”, we can read in a letter he sent to over forty science teachers to Minister Roberge on Wednesday.
In September, they write, teachers had to face “frustrated youth, with too many concepts to catch up,” a challenge that “sometimes insurmountable for some teens”.
In many cases, teaching of new content began at the end of October, when many students in the red zone had already switched to co-education, one day in the classroom and the other at home.
The authors of this letter add: “Imposing the only famous test on them while ignoring their reality will not help them and risk, but rather exacerbate the stress they have experienced and accumulated in the past months.”
In order to gather data on students ‘success in the context of the pandemic, they suggest instead using refresher tests on a voluntary basis or asking teachers to prepare reports on their students’ success.
Science teachers aren’t the only ones interested in year-end exams. Earlier this week, a hundred history teachers questioned Secretary Robert about it.
There are also big concerns among math teachers. One of them, Jocelyn Dageny, has published an open letter on the topic, co-signed by Melanie Tremblay, professor of mathematics education at the University of Quebec in Rimouski.
MI Tremblay notes that there are “a lot of students failing” at present.
We don’t need ministerial exams to know that the quality of students is lower this year. Class time should be devoted to learning and we must ensure that we do not put extra pressure on students, teachers and professionals who no longer know which foot we dance to help our students, ” magazine MI Tremblay, which is also calling for year-end exams to be canceled.