Quebec education minister doubles the budget for tutoring this year

Quebec's education minister Jean-Francois Roberge announced Wednesday that the budget for the tutoring program will double this year, from $11 million to $22 million.

Roberge announced the funding jump at a news conference at the National Assembly.

He also highlighted recent figures from the province's tutoring program: 9,500 tutors have been hired since January to help 76,188 students (9 per cent of students in the public network).

Tutors are mainly teachers or professionals already working in the network, he said, people who have agreed to "do more."

For its part, Alloprof reports a 63 per cent increase in its one-to-one teacher-pupil support sessions.

This represents 1.2 million additional help sessions, Roberge said.

In addition, Tel-Jeunes has seen a 76 per cent increase in visits to its website, with 153,000 additional visits and resources available to troubled youth.

"It continues to expand," Roberge said.

On Wednesday morning, the Minister of Education also launched the Summit on Educational Success in Quebec, a forum he said will bring together 70 participants in small closed groups.

The objective is to provide the network with a common vision to ensure the perseverance and success of the greatest number of students in the coming months.

When asked why he decided to hold the event behind closed doors, the minister defended himself by saying that he had the support of a dozen groups, which preferred to hold the discussions behind closed doors, away from the media.

"People want to be sure they can go into a storm of ideas, react from one side to the other, without necessarily having a clip used in the media," Roberge said. "Some discussions can be done more productively... when microphones and cameras are off."

Quebec Solidaire MNA Christine Labrie announced on Monday that she will boycott the event, as she will not be able to hear what participants are saying.

The only meeting that MNAs will be able to attend is the one with the other members of the National Assembly. She said that issues such as student achievement and well-being could have been discussed publicly.

Liberal and PQ MNAs Marwah Rizqy and Veronique Hivon have confirmed they will attend the summit, which runs until April 1.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 31, 2021.

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