Not sufficient companies for particular wants college students, says Quebec ombudsperson

Elementary school students with learning difficulties are not receiving all the services they are entitled to under the Education Act.

That’s the main finding of Quebec Ombudsperson Marc-André Dowd, who conducted an investigation after being “made aware” of the difficulty some students have in accessing these services.

His 60-page report will be presented Tuesday at a press conference at the National Assembly. It contains 11 recommendations.

The Ombudsperson is criticizing the fact that school organizations don’t have the required staff to meet the needs of all students.

The supply of complementary educational services (remedial education, psycho-education, speech therapy, special education, psychology) is limited by the funding available.

This is a ‘major’ concern, as services are provided ‘on an as-available basis’; some students are not making the progress they could be making, the report states.

In Quebec, the Education Act guarantees every student the right to receive free instructional and complementary educational services.

More than 86,000 elementary school students — or one in seven — currently have adjustment or learning difficulties.

“At a critical stage in their development, elementary students are not getting the attention they need from the school system to help them succeed,” Dowd notes in his report.

“While they ‘wait their turn’ for services to which they are entitled by law, these struggling students are not making the progress they expect and their delays persist, stunting their educational progress,” he added.

– This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 13, 2022

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