Quebec's student tutoring plan underway - some parents upset few English services are offered


Quebec's education minister has unveiled more details about the student tutoring program he announced just before classes resumed earlier this month to help students with difficulties during the pandemic. But at least one parents group is disappointed that most of the services are only offered in French.

Student help organizations such as Allo Prof and Tel-jeunes are getting a total of nearly $12M to boost services, with Alloprof getting the lion's share at just over $7.3M.

But for the most part, Alloprof doesn't offer tutoring services in English and Tel Jeunes offers limited services for mainly psychosocial help.

Katherine Korakakis, president of the English Parents Committee Association said parents are already having a hard time getting help from groups such as Learn which serves the English speaking community.

"Some parents said it's a couple of months long (wait for services), sometimes a month," said Korakakis in an interview with CJAD 800.

"If the government would also give them money, perhaps they could hire more tutors or more teachers or open more hours, so then our most vulnerable students could have the same access as French-speaking children."

The government is also recruiting tutors, such as students as well as retired and current teachers via the online platform Répondez présent - similar to the one used to recruit orderlies last year.

Korakakis said it's a positive step but wonders if more couldn't be done to offer additional services in English.

"My expectations are that it rolls out as soon as possible and that the minister could give money to Learn  as well or to open up more spots to hire more people to have more services for the Anglophone community," said Korakakis.

"It seems that the English community’s needs are an afterthought."

A spokesperson for Learn-Quebec said for now, they are happy with the tutoring announcement 

"We have not been approached yet about what will be offered to the English-speaking community but LEARN already works with students and has been for over 15 years. We are currently offering over 1000 tutorial sessions per week," said Carolina Toteda in a statement.

"We are always ready and eager to collaborate with all the stakeholders to offer our resources and services to support student success and families."

A spokesperson for Alloprof told CJAD 800 they do not offer services in English but they do provide some help in English for English courses.

Quebec's education ministry said services provided by the two student help organizations "within the framework of the project will be in French as well as in English." It said they chose those two organizations because they are well-known and have a great reach in the province.


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