Bernard Drainville is right. The debate on the abolition of grades has been settled. As he said, the notes do not exclude the production of comments. The two are complementary. The grades provide an at-a-glance view of children’s performance.
But there is something more important than classroom assessment. In many subjects, our children are bored at school, with obvious consequences on their behavior and on their study ambitions.
It’s that the ministry program is designed for class tails.
This frenzied egalitarianism is a hidden legacy of May 68 and the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The abolition of grades was part of the class struggle as conceived by the Maoists. The development of skills in defiance of knowledge too. Just like the remodeling of the programs to the advantage of the less gifted pupils.
The Chinese education system is no longer Maoist. But not here, where Maoists are still rampant.
In our country, primary education is divided into three two-year cycles. In theory, the second year of each cycle is used to deepen the subject and to develop automatisms.
In reality, it is a three-year program with mandatory repeating every other year. Because in fact, the students have the feeling of relearning what they have already learned and they are mortally bored repeating the same exercises over and over again.
With us, the program despises the acquisition of knowledge. Yet what good is it to have skills if the student has practically no knowledge?
In French, in particular, the program tends to become a long, slow and boring spelling course spread over 13 years.
Children are formatted to write texts following an identical recipe (subjects brought, subject posed, etc.) which stifles creativity and forces them to favor hollow speech.
The context of the few works studied is barely sketched.
In addition, whereas in the past rote learning was wrongly privileged to the detriment of comprehension, the program has evolved towards the opposite excess. What a waste not to take advantage of these years to develop the memory of children and teach them more knowledge that they will remember all their lives!
With us, the programs are much too subject to fads. For example, in the history of humanity, of the West, or even of Canada and Quebec, Aboriginal people occupy only a marginal place with regard to the major political, economic and cultural decisions that have been made during the last centuries.
Natives and sexual minorities have become the modern proletarians of the new kind Maoists of the Ministry of Education.
To put it more bluntly, for ideological reasons, the program devotes too much importance to subjects that are not important or of a banal everyday nature, which quickly tire the pupils.
We bet that if the Ministry’s program were more interesting and more relevant, a good part of the students’ behavioral problems would vanish.
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