Quebec wants to reward its best teachers

The Quebec government is looking to honour the best its education has to offer, but teachers unions say it'll take more than a couple awards to fix a broken system.

Education Minister Sébastien Proulx announced the creation of the Order of Excellence in Education. The award will be given to the most deserving teachers and staff members from early childhood to the University level.

Proulx said the Order is just the start of an effort to show more appreciation to those molding young minds.

Quebec teachers unions were not impressed with the honour.

The Fédération autonome de l'enseignement (FAE), which represents 34,000 teachers belonging to eight unions, said by creating the order the Education Minister is not just breaking a promise but refusing to listen to educators.

The FAE said when the idea of awarding an annual prize to teachers was first brought up last year it told the government no trophy or medal would fool its members. 

Union President Sylvain Mallette said the cosmetic measure completely misses the point, adding "teachers don't want a prize."

Mallette said educators want their expertise to be recognized by the government, for the necessary steps to be put in place to protect it and measures to eliminate pedagogical interference. 

The FAE said recent government decisions have only added to the bureaucratic nightmare teachers already face, such as maintaining success targets, and have failed to improve their contribution to the development of Quebec society.