Quebec lacks teachers, like most OECD countries. While the reasons for this shortage vary from place to place, a common factor emerges: teachers are not valued enough, even though their work is essential.
In France, the purchasing power of teachers has halved in 40 years. With the equivalent of $40,000 per year after 15 years of experience, they are among the lowest paid in developed countries.
Quebec professors earn the equivalent of US$72,000, with the same seniority, making them the third highest paid. Only Germany and Luxembourg pay their teachers more.
However, within two years, there will be a shortage of 26,000 teachers in Germany. This is because their situation has changed and they have lost their permanence.
Lots of missions
In general, teachers are increasingly forced to deal with administrative tasks in addition to their usual duties. In the UK, where teachers’ salaries are low, a third of them complain about overtime without pay. More than 50% of teachers think their task has become unmanageable, at least sometimes.
The computer revolution is partly responsible for this extra work. Instead of relieving the teachers’ workload, it transferred to them the tasks that had previously been performed by the secretaries whose posts were then abolished. The same observation applies to many professional sectors.
Too much central
Governments are also increasingly seeking to control the entire educational process. Rather than simply setting minimum goals and verifying that they are achieved at the end of the year, governments tend to reduce schools’ room for maneuver. As if all schools were the same. Education systems must be decentralized.
Schools in Quebec fall victim to the egalitarian ideology and the unionism of faculties of education.
Thus, while in the past classes were divided between affluent, regular, and underprivileged students, classes have become quite mixed. Obviously, this combination is excellent for the weakest, but disastrous for the remaining 80% and disheartening for teachers.
Equality also creates chaos in textbooks that aim for the minimum common denominator. For example, instead of systematically presenting texts of great authors, primary school textbooks for children present texts that are anomalous, even absurd. As a result, students get bored and teachers get bored too.
Faculties of Education impose on their students educational courses at the expense of the content of courses, in French, in science, etc. why? Justify the superiority of their diplomas over the certificates of other university disciplines.
In fact, college graduates should be able to teach their subject in high schools, with just a few pedagogical courses. This system has worked very well for years.