Education is not a luxury

L’éducation n’est pas un luxe

The list of cégeps presented by The Journal puzzling.

It is noted that the institutions of the network public English rank at the top of the graduation rates of their students, particularly when it comes to pre-university.

The phenomenon may be explained by the high popularity of network college of English language, who can thus choose the best students. The students will all find the opportunity to improve their English proficiency that the diploma and the training associated with a prestigious institution.

The phenomenon is also observed at the secondary level, as we are reminded each year our top secondary schools. Here again, we mention the strong sense of belonging to the anglophone community, to its educational institutions.


In September 2008, prime minister Jacques Parizeau had published in the pages of the Newspaper text figure of a cry of alarm. Comparing the performance of graduation, but also school boards, francophone and anglophone, he denounced what he described as the scandalous situation.

At the time, 36 % of boys attending the schools of the Commission scolaire de Montreal were getting their high school diploma in 5 years, compared with 67 % for those studying at the English Montreal school Board. Referring to the time before the quiet Revolution, where 54 % of adults in québec had not progressed beyond the sixth year, he was reminded of the catch-up that ensued, Jacques Parizeau was afraid now to the collapse of the public network of the French language.

Today, looking at the results of the French cégeps, we certainly cannot speak of a collapse. Nevertheless, they perform less well than their competitors — because it is more of it that it is English-speaking.

Education, a luxury

In the Quebec of yesteryear, it was common to value education as much as possible listing many scholarships at In a logic where one seeks to accumulate capital to improve their lot and that of his children, education is an asset.

In the Quebec of today, it is less obvious. Education is still presented as a luxury.

In 2012, the youth who were the strike to keep tuition as low as possible for those that follow were presented as privileged people who cannot fight for themselves. By 2020, it defends a proposed lng port in a region close to full employment by saying that it does not just jobs for the doctoral students in philosophy.

Because Quebec created too many jobs for philosophers. It is known!

The truth is that strength may have been private, we have developed a vision that is suspicious of education. In Saguenay, it has been elected for 20 years to a mayor who criticised those who had “been in school too long”. In the time of Duplessis, it is also said that an ignorant people was a people obedient.

A wealth

We often hear people say that they value too much the academic to the detriment of the career. In practice, it is the opposite. In Quebec, the proportion of adults between 25 and 44 years of age who hold a professional degree or college amounts to 44 %, compared to 33 % in Ontario. We have, however, 35 % of university graduates, while Ontario has 39 %.

Weird. Ontarians are richer than us. The English-speaking quebecers, who succeed so well in the pre-university are also more likely than francophones. To them, the jobs of bosses.

At the end, in an economy like that in a company, it takes all. Labourers, professionals, technicians, managers and thinkers. Except that in Quebec, we see the continuation of long research as a whimsical personal project.

What one must aim in Quebec, this is not more of DEP, DEC, or bin. What we must aim, that is success. That each student is able to go to the end of its project staff, that this is to be a welder, nurse, or researcher.

But for now, it does not change. Each time a study shows that our students are the best in Canada in mathematics, comments accumulate under the article to say that it is easy to be good with calculators, as if Albertans used to calculate square roots in the mitten. It reassures us to think that our young people are hollow.

And at the end of next summer, you will still see managers of restaurants call for a change in the school calendar to coincide with the seasonal calendar. Because in Quebec, it is normal to think that in place of a 17-year-old at the end of August, which is to serve pancakes to tourists.

The sovereigntists will continue to request that we close the access of the cegeps, English-speaking to French-speaking students, but it will not change what we need to evolve radically in Quebec.

This is what the Brits have understood, and which escapes too many Quebecers. You should see each of our schools as a public good ; we should see every young person achieving a degree — whatever it is — as a success of the group ; we all should ask what we can do individually to help the youth succeed.

In short, it will be necessary to understand that education is not just an individual project. It is above all a source of collective wealth.

It is to this that we invited Jacques Parizeau in 2008, as those who have built the quebec college system in the 1960s.