As the new academic year begins, Education Minister Bernard Trinville has again courted controversy. His statements about “less demanding” kindergarten classes did not pass muster with preschool teachers.
• Read more: Back to school: 5,000 teachers missing
• Read more: Teaching French: There’s no question of imposing a list of mandatory readings, says Trainville
• Read more: Teaching French: Drainville refuses to come up with a list of common readings at school
In an interview on Paul Arcand’s microphone on 98.5 FM on Thursday morning, Mr. Trainville called for more flexibility in ongoing negotiations with teachers’ unions, lamenting that young teachers often find themselves more difficult in classes because of the seniority policy. Contracts will prevail at the time of award.
“I would like our young teachers and our young teachers to prioritize classes Kindergarten 4 years and Kindergarten 5 years. These are less demanding classes, I’m not saying they’re not demanding, but they’re less demanding because you’re teaching through play, the kids are sleeping, there’s no homework, none of that,” he said.
“I think it’s a great way to get that experience,” he added.
His speech caused a stir on social media. Several authors directly condemned Minister Trinville’s Facebook page. “I am extremely angry, disappointed and embarrassed by these comments, can you please read? What a biased opinion you have about our work!
“Stop making such demeaning comments to your teachers, especially preschoolers. Instead, stop this shortage and show gratitude to the youth to encourage them to choose this profession,” says another author.
The reports have sparked “a whole controversy in the middle of preschool,” confirms Tarina Bilodeau, a Quebec-area preschool teacher.
She says no fewer than 186 comments were posted Thursday afternoon condemning the comments on a Facebook group that unites kindergarten teachers.
“It is not true that these are easy groups, on the contrary,” says Mme Philoto.
Kindergarten teachers need to teach children with developmental delays or behavioral problems, but without services, the children are too young to have a diagnosis that would allow them to receive them, Ms.me Philoto.
Entering kindergarten is also essential for developing social skills and the basics of literacy, she adds.
On social networks, many have called for Minister Trinville to withdraw. “I hope you fix the situation quickly and you succeed in keeping your teachers in business by insulting them,” writes one teacher in particular. Some are urging him to resign.
This is not the first time that the education minister’s statements have caused controversy.
Last spring, he apologized to teachers after an outcry over his comparison of rep and teacher salaries.
“Pop culture practitioner. Award-winning tv junkie. Creator. Devoted food geek. Twitter lover. Beer enthusiast.”