Online Education

Universities problem Quebec with plans to return in February

In theory, a return to campus attendance should be completed by Monday, January 31st. However, this week some schools announced that they intend to keep their distance learning courses through February.

This is the case of Concordia University in Montreal. On Thursday, the institution announced on its website that the school year would not begin until Thursday, February 3, three days after the deadline set by Quebec.

Similarly, students and faculty at the University of Quebec at Abitibi-Themiscaming (UQAT) are not required to return to classes until mid-February. On your websiteUKAT even writes that distance learning will be preferred until 75% of students receive a booster dose against COVID-19.

The Rouen-Noranda campus of the University of Quebec at Abitibi-Temiskaming

Photo: Radio Canada/Andrew Ode

In addition, at least one college, the Cégep Regional de Lanaudière, has confirmed in the last few days that it intends to delay its return. Thus, classes will resume on February 7 in the presence of visitors. Until then, there will be no distance learning courses; the calendar is just shifted.

Quebec asks for establishments perform

However, Higher Education Minister Danielle McCann’s office has scheduled a two-week “transition period” to allow CEGEP and universities to resume classroom activities after Monday, Jan. 17, the date originally set by Prime Minister Lego for Dec. 30.

This postponement was announced on January 7 after some institutions such as the University of Montreal and UQAM announced they would resume attendance on Monday January 24 or even the next Monday January 31.

The Lego government wanted to remember the rules of the game on Friday night. In a message sent to Radio-Canada, Minister McCann’s office urged resisting institutions comply with the directives communicated to them on 30 December..

Close-up of Danielle McCann at a press conference.

Quebec Minister for Higher Education Daniel McCann

Photo: Radio Canada / Sylvain Roy Roussel

The return to availability on campuses should take place from January 17th.he reminded, emphasizing that he had already shown flexibility providing CEGEP and universities the possibility of completing this declaration before 31 January.

Show Interview noon info, at the ICI Première, Minister McCann herself recalled earlier that day when 31 January represented term reconnect with the return to the classroom of university students.

Students want to go back to class

The transfer from week to week of returning to school when visiting CEGEP and the university is not to everyone’s liking.

In Abitibi, for example, an open letter began to circulate on Friday askingUKAT turn back and start full-time return from 17 to 31 Januarybecause many students would prefer to return to class if government measures allow.

Specifically, the measure requiredUKAT achieving 75% vaccination coverage with the third dose […] prevent face-to-face training of entire cohorts for a few more weeksits authors write, adding that Quebec never mentioned such an extreme.

Not to mention thatIt is obviousaccording to them that the quality of education received online is not equal to the quality of face-to-face classes.

For some students, university careers are coming to an end. Unfortunately, in the last three years of this course, they have had only two full face-to-face sessions, which greatly affects the quality of the training they receive. It is quite heartbreaking to come out with a diploma and a title, but without all the skills that should have been developed during this training. »

Quote from Extract from an open letter to the University of Quebec at Abitibi-Témiscamingue

According to its authors, the letter was signed on Friday evening by more than 70 students. They form a common front against the official positionAGEVATlocal student association, which said on Facebook this week that the measure seems satisfactory.

L’UKAT and Concordia are explained

L’UKAT justified by e-mail on Friday evening, pointing out that many of his scientific studies […] continued face to face without interruption as well as the return of in-person learning will begin on January 24, starting with courses that include a practical or experiential component..

Furthermore, access to campuses and centers is possible subject to health protection measures as well as student services, including psychosocial support, success assistance, and techno-pedagogical support, available in person or remotelysaid University Communications Director Stephanie Duchen.

She also recalled that representativesAGEVAT four university unions were consulted. In addition, the ministry aware of the guidelines adoptedUKATassures Ms. Duchen.

Concordia University, for its part, clarified by email Friday night that its winter semester [avait] started on January 6, that is, on Thursdayas well as, for planning reasons, [était] more consistently resume classes in person on Thursday to facilitate the course structure.

Therefore, a personal return is scheduled for the week of January 31st.said his spokesman Vannina Maestracci.

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