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Experienced but unqualified teachers who will not be able to teach

Experienced but unqualified teachers who will not be able to teach

Unqualified experienced teachers will have to give up teaching next year because the “commitment tolerance” cannot be renewed for more than 10 years, a rule the teacher questions in the context of the shortage.

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Anne-Marie Pinault has been teaching English, a second language, for nearly 15 years, including five years at the same school.

Over the past ten years it has obtained the Ministry of Education’s ‘commitment tolerance’, which allows a person without a teaching certificate to continue to have a contract in a school network, if a qualified teacher is not available.

From year to year, the woman who became “Miss Pinole” “fills holes” and “save situations,” while on the job she learns a trade that fascinates her.

Anne-Marie Pinault teaches English

Photo by Martin Allary

However, the Ministry of Education recently informed her that this is her last year as a teacher at its service center located in the Laurentians, as her commitment to tolerance cannot be renewed for more than 10 years, according to the applicable rules.

In the context of the shortages currently affecting the school network, “this represents a complete lack of understanding,” she says.

The situation seems “ridiculous” to her, as she will likely be replaced next year by another unqualified teacher…who will have less experience than her.

Back to square one

To gain a new tolerance for commitment, he must enroll in training that leads to a teaching certificate.

Gould MI Piñol has not completed the bachelor’s degree in teaching that she started several years ago, so she cannot enroll for a qualifying master’s degree or the shorter courses that have been created recently.

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She intends to take steps with the University of Sherbrooke to enroll in the new Parcours Prof training, which allows unqualified teachers to have their acquired knowledge recognized, but this training does not currently lead to a teaching certificate.

“I want to train, but I feel like I’m back to square one,” says this single mother, who cannot return to full-time studies, sadly.

Encouraging training

The Ministry of Education specifies that the ten-year deadline “is intended to encourage persons who are not legally qualified to enroll in training programs to obtain a teaching certificate.”

However, it is impossible to know how many unqualified teachers will have to give up teaching next year because they will reach the ten-year limit, since this data has not been compiled by Quebec.

At the Federation of Educational Service Centers of Quebec, we believe that training must be diversified to make it more accessible to unqualified teachers like Ms. Pinault.

“It would be interesting to provide recognition of prior learning with a qualifying university course for people who do not have a baccalaureate degree,” we noted in a written response.

However, allowing commitment variances to be renewed for more than 10 years would not be the preferred solution, because this avenue could “discourage some candidates” from taking steps to qualify, the union specifies.

The Fédération québécoise des Directions d’installation d’enseignement also participates in this position.

The number of unqualified teachers has been steadily increasing in recent years in Quebec schools. Last year, the Department of Education granted nearly 6,000 compliance forgiveness (see details below).

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High numbers of unqualified teachers

Number of participation permits granted to unqualified teachers: 5921 (in 2022-2023)

Educational level of holders of the Tolerance Commitment:

• Secondary school certificate: 3

• Diploma in Professional Studies: 448

• University diploma: 1,084

• Baccalaureate: 2,683

• Proficiency: 552

• Others: 1,151

Source: Ministry of Education

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