Mr. Prime Minister, these days, because of your government, thousands of home-schooled children in Quebec are experiencing unnecessary anxiety about mandatory end-of-year class exams.
A bullied elementary school boy returns to the school he attended to take his end-of-year exam and has nightmares about it. A student attacked in a school hallway takes his exam at the facility where he was traumatized and with the opportunity to meet his attackers again.
Elementary school girls and boys who have experienced school anxiety go to their ministerial test in an unfamiliar place with people they don’t know.
Stop ministerial reviews
Today we are talking with the Prime Minister, but also with the former Minister of Education and especially with the father of a family, such as you. On behalf of more than 1,800 homeschooling families, we send you a heart-felt cry to stop the end-of-year ministerial exams imposed on our children by your Minister of Education, Jean-Francois Roberge. At this very moment, thousands of elementary and secondary homeschooled children have to go to school and endure situations that create stress, anguish and anxiety!
For many families, homeschooling is not a choice, but rather a last resort. In Quebec, more than 50% of home-schooled children have learning disabilities, disabilities or mental health issues that the traditional education system cannot adequately address. It is not without significant compromises and sacrifices that a parent decides to homeschool, but we put our children’s education at the forefront of our lives as parents.
Quebec is one of the most regulated provinces for homeschooling. Families who make this choice are responsible to the Department of Education for their child’s educational progress. However, the Ministry is exaggerating and henceforth obliging our children to undergo ministerial tests in a school they do not attend.
These exams become a huge source of anxiety for them, creating a counterproductive environment for their academic success.
Currently, fourth-graders, sixth-graders, and second-graders move around schools unnecessarily, and test scores will not count toward their success. In addition, the ministerial exam for youth in grades four and five counts for 100% of their grade, an unfair and unacceptable situation. Would parents who send their children to school accept that the final exam counts for 100% of their year? This is an injustice to our children!
A heartbreaking choice
As parents, we are faced with a heart-wrenching choice: comply with the Ministry’s regulatory requirements or protect our children with consequences for their academic progress… Why subject your child to the anxiety of an end-of-year exam that has no impact on school performance? his career? Why add undue pressure on the shoulders of Secondary IV and Secondary V students with an exam that counts for 100% of the final grade?
Homeschoolers are part of the solution. We worry about the well-being of our children. Your Minister of Education refuses to meet with us.
Yet, in the current situation, your government is creating from scratch an anxiety-provoking environment for our children! Mr. Lego, help us put an end to this!
Marine Dumont-Depre, president of the Quebec Home Education Association and mother of three