Disturbing school confusion in the face of a solar eclipse

Disturbing school confusion in the face of a solar eclipse

Schools closed or open but with curtains drawn? Scientific culture activities or not?

The eclipse scheduled to occur on April 8 will plunge Quebec's education system into a state of alarming confusion.

Precise “steering”.

Many wonder why Minister Bernard Drainville does not simply issue a simple and clear directive: schools must remain open and organize scientific cultural activities.

This is what the astronomer Pierre Chastenay and the Director-General of the Association for the Teaching of Science and Technology of Quebec suggested in a pertinent way – it must be said – on Monday in our pages, Camille Turcotte.

Mr. Drainville also felt compelled to respond to that letter as of Monday afternoon, by qualifying the “guidance” he sent to schools before spring break when he increased warnings for schools that would choose to remain open.

Faced with these numerous restrictions, many have chosen to cancel activities. no! The minister insisted in his press release that “we should have specified” that those “outdoor, supervised and safe” procedures were “strongly encouraged”.


It is not easy to be a Minister of Education in our time. I've come to feel some pity for him.

Parents, unions, civil servants, columnists, they all have the phrase “just there” (some in the French-speaking world write “yaka”) to suggest a solution to a problem. The problem: This yaka is always contradictory.

Should Mr. Drainville “just” force schools to open? Others might immediately criticize him for ignoring the autonomy of CSSs; Others violate the educational freedom of teachers.

Imagine the harsh reproach if, for whatever reason, the day after the eclipse we learned that some children had been exposed to danger due to the lack of a teacher or supervisor. Oh and who was going to blame CCS? Minister. Certainly there should be legal advice on this matter.

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Obsession with risk

Some teachers told CSS and the minister that they feared prosecution by angry parents if a tragedy of this kind occurred. Hence the precautions mentioned in the ministerial “directives” document.

“Precaution” is one of the key words in our “risk society,” a concept developed by the German sociologist Ulrich Beck.

Since 1986 when he published his article, the obsession with predicting the unpredictable and protecting oneself, through laws or insurance contracts, against the worst effects of accidents, accidents or unfortunate events seems to have become, more than ever, a feature of the world. Organizing our communities.

As Mr. Chastenay said, disinterest in political correctness turns into “hysteria”! Apparently some decisions were “made by lawyers, not teachers!”

This is actually how the risk and policy community is paralyzed.

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About the Author: Octávio Florencio

"Evangelista zumbi. Pensador. Criador ávido. Fanático pela internet premiado. Fanático incurável pela web."

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