School reform teams are hit hard by teacher shortages, where students are struggling.
According to school staff, the consequences are sometimes “dramatic,” while many legally unqualified teachers must be called in as reinforcements.
Kalli, 14 in special class, has no teacher this year. A special education technician supervises students with autism spectrum disorder, and as with most of last year, high staff turnover was noted.
“No work plan has been communicated to us. My daughter withdrew and she had major behavioral problems,” laments her mother, Angel Belisle, who lives in Gatineau.
The shortage of qualified teachers in special education groups has a significant impact on other workforces as well.
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At one special school in the Montreal region, one-third of teaching positions were vacant at the start of the school year, its director notes. Newspaper.
However, inappropriate interventions can contribute “dangerously” to the safety of staff and students, he says. “We are already exhausted and we are carrying it at arm’s length. The collateral damage of COVID-19 is very felt and the vulnerable are even more,” he drops.
At another special school located in the Montreal region, almost half of the teachers did not have a teaching certificate. “Every year it increases. Everyone is doing their best, but there are big, big challenges for our students. It adds pressure on other staff,” says its director, who requested anonymity for the same reasons.
For its part, Quebec’s Federation of Parents of Children with Special Needs condemns the situation loud and clear.
“This is a declared disaster. Our children in Quebec are the most vulnerable, and they deserve more,” insists its president, Bianca Nugent.
It is the same story on the side of the Autonomous Education Federation.
“It’s a bit dramatic when students with the greatest needs end up with less trained teachers. Management of learning difficulties can’t be improved,” says its chair Melanie Hubert.
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