After the COVID-19 pandemic, distance education should never be favored because it has a huge impact on children and teachers.
This is the conclusion of a study by the Federation of Private Education Personnel (FPEP), affiliated with the Centrale des unions du Québec (CSQ).
In a report released on Sunday, the union sets out the consequences of online education on students and teachers. Among these, we note the poorer retention of learning by students, the erosion of the relationship between teachers and their students as well as the overload of work for teachers.
“This practice, for us, must really remain exceptional”, affirmed Marie-Josée Dallaire, vice-president of the FPEP-CSQ, Sunday, in virtual press conference, because of the sanitary measures.
Contrary to certain scientific studies which advance that the use of technological tools has a positive influence on motivation, the teachers surveyed by the FPEP-CSQ denote an opposite effect on their students, who have become “viewers of their learning”. In addition, students who are less comfortable with these technologies would be at a disadvantage compared to their classmates.
The mental health of teachers has also been hit hard by online courses, according to FPEP-CSQ President Stéphane Lapointe. “The continual exposure to the screen, the permanent connection to technological platforms with everyday digital tools, the overtime worked to maintain pedagogical continuity and the constant adaptation to ministerial directives bring a state of permanent mental overload in teachers, ”he said.
Mme Dallaire denounced the desire of some institutions to seek to standardize distance education, a practice that could have repercussions on staff and students, she said.
“A snowstorm or a competition that would happen at the same time as a school day, these are not exceptional circumstances which justify upset the planning and pedagogy of teachers,” she explained.
The FPEP-CSQ therefore asks the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, to establish clear guidelines for distance education, from the next school year and not to “give in to the many pretexts” that could justify its use.
Like their counterparts in the public sector, the FPEP-CSQ criticized the Caquista government for the lack of stability in ministerial directives on education, which was “very exhausting” for their members.
The FPEP study was carried out with 17 affiliated unions in a format of interviews with members of the teaching and support staff.