55 per cent of Quebeckers would prefer the government introduce school vouchers that would allocate a fixed amount for educational funding per child that parents could use to choose the school they wish, whether public or private. CNS photo/Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier)

Most Quebeckers oppose mandatory nature of Ethics and Religious Culture program

By 
  • March 13, 2012

OTTAWA - Most Quebeckers oppose the compulsory nature of the province's controversial Ethics and Religious Culture program (ERC), with 29 per cent saying it should be "scrapped altogether" in favour of improved mathematics or French-language courses.

In a Leger Marketing poll conducted for the Coalition for Freedom in Education (CLÉ), only four out of 10 Quebeckers want the controversial course to stay mandatory. A quarter would keep the course but make it optional.

The poll also discovered 55 per cent of Quebeckers would prefer the government introduce school vouchers that would allocate a fixed amount for educational funding per child that parents could use to choose the school they wish, whether public or private, CLÉ said in a March 7 news release.

CLÉ said the desire to "return to basics" shown in the poll may be related to the results of the latest Pan-Canadian Assessment Program that showed Quebec students "have experienced sharp declines in reading skills (from first place to the seventh spot) and in science (dropping from second to last place)."

"These results show clearly that there is no consensus around the compulsory nature of the ERC program and that a majority of Quebecers want more freedom in education," said CLÉ president Sylvain Lamontagne. "Why does a government that prides itself in imposing this one-size-fits-all program in the name of diversity show no more respect for parents and their diversity?"

The poll showed 54 per cent of Quebeckers "think  schools should have greater freedom in choosing the curriculum they teach and in how to teach it."

"Quebec parents are in line with results published by international bodies like the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) that identify teaching freedom as an essential component to a quality education," said CLÉ secretary Patrick Andries.

"For the coalition, granting additional freedom in what schools teach and how they teach it will better meet the future needs of Quebec, while at the same time better respect the rights of parents," the release said.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

Support The Catholic Register

Unlike many other news websites, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our site. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.