Schools Training

Clock Ticking for Quebec’s Cegeps

10 APR 2012
Topic : Education News

The ongoing Quebec student strike is reaching something of a boiling point: schools may soon be unable to meet their obligations.

According to the Fédération des Cegeps, which represents the province’s 48 public colleges, the student strike has involved 23 CEGEPs and over 86,000 college students. The strike (or boycott – depending on what you want to call it) has lasted at least a month at 18 of those 23 cegeps, and the Federation is now warning that the next two weeks are a potential turning point “if we want to finish the school year in a reasonable period,” spokesperson Caroline Tessier told the Montreal Gazette.

Mid-May is usually the time of year for winter semester exams at Cegep, and the month-long disruption of classes will mean that the semester will most likely have to be extended. However, the longer this boycott drags on, the harder it will be for schools to meet their obligations. As Tessier explained, Cegeps have to:

  • Provide a minimum of 82 days of courses and evaluation per session.
  • Respect the two-month holiday period for teachers, which falls between June 15 and Sept. 1.

Before you start thinking that they’re just going to cancel the semester, think again. That, apparently, is not an option. “We don’t see how an avenue like that would be feasible,” Tessier said.

Despite that, two colleges have already announced that their summer courses will be canceled: Collège de Valleyfield and Collège Montmorency. The two schools announced the annulment of summer class time last week, with Montmorency urging the two sides to sit down and negotiate.

“We welcome the involvement of the student movement, and, at the same time, invite the Quebec government to open a dialogue to resolve the current crisis and promote the return of students to the classroom as soon as possible,” the college told La Presse.

Clearly, this story is only going to get juicier in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

What do you think?