UL programs abandoned by future teachers

Even if the future teachers are more numerous at Laval University this fall, the number of registrations in certain programs is decreasing while the needs in the schools of the region are glaring.

The newspaper reported Thursday that there is still a shortage of fifty teachers in the Quebec City region, more than two weeks after the start of the school year. At the primary level, English and music teachers are a rare commodity while at the secondary level, there are still contracts to be filled, particularly in mathematics and French.

However, at Laval University, the number of registrations in these educational programs is at its lowest for six years.

In secondary mathematics and French education, enrollment numbers fell by about 33% during this period.

This drop is difficult to explain, especially since we see, on the contrary, a marked increase in enrollments in other programs, such as the baccalaureate in preschool and elementary education, says Fernand Gervais, dean of the Faculty of educational sciences from Laval University.

“It’s very difficult to attract students to these paths. This is a long-standing problem, for which we have enormous difficulty. You have to work on that upstream, ”he says.

A new program to come

The University is doing its part to fight the shortage, says the dean. Work placements are now available, as is a new qualifying master’s degree for secondary school, since the fall of 2020.

This program allows those who already have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, French, science or history to teach adolescents, after having completed this two-year training rather than the baccalaureate which is spread over four years.

Laval University also intends to take steps in the coming weeks to create a new qualifying master’s program for primary school, allowing baccalaureate holders to teach students from kindergarten to grade six.

“I think that we will be able to find a lot of people who have completed degrees in literature, psychology or in many fields and who will be able to access education more quickly,” says Mr. Gervais.

“Quite a challenge”

Even if he says he wants to go “at high speed” with this project, the dean considers it realistic to think that such a program could be offered at the start of the 2023 school year.

“It must always be done with respect for the skills to be acquired in elementary school,” he adds. It’s quite a challenge, because there are all the subjects to be taught. We want to train people quickly, but there are also limits to that. We must also maintain the quality standards of training, it is our mandate.

Students enrolled in a teaching program at Laval University

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
All programs combined 2154 2023 2002 2070 2305 2345
French teaching
in high school
134 106 100 112 99 91
Math education
in high school
106 105 94 86 91 70
Teaching English as a Second Language 155 154 170 156 164 140
Music education 121 113 93 103 110 69

– Source: Laval University


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