Bernard Drainville is right. The debate about the abolition of grades has been settled. As he said, the notes do not preclude the creation of comments. The two complement each other. The grades give an overview of the children’s achievements.
But there is something more important than classroom assessment. In many subjects, our children get bored at school, with obvious consequences for their behavior and their learning aspirations.
It’s that the utility was 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 even in spite of knowledge. Just like the redesign of the programs in favor of the less gifted students.
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 topic and develop automatisms.
In reality, it is a three-year program with compulsory repetition every two years. In fact, students feel like they’re relearning what they’ve already learned, and they’re dead tired of repeating the same exercises over and over again.
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With us, the program despises the acquisition of knowledge. But what use are skills if the student has practically no knowledge?
In French in particular, the program evolves into a long, slow, and boring spelling course spanning 13 years.
Children are formatted to write texts following an identical recipe (topics they bring with them, topics they are asked, etc.), stifling creativity and forcing them to prefer hollow language.
The context of the few works examined is hardly sketched.
While in the past memorization was wrongly privileged at the expense of comprehension, the program has evolved towards the opposite excess. What a waste not to use those years to develop children’s memory and teach them more knowledge that they will remember for the rest of their lives!
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Our programs are far too subject to fads. In the history of mankind, of the West or even of Canada and Québec, for example, the Aborigines occupy only a marginal place in relation to the major political, economic and cultural decisions that have been made over the last few centuries.
Indigenous and sexual minorities have become the modern proletarians of the Ministry of Education’s new breed of Maoists.
To put it more bluntly, the program, for ideological reasons, devotes too much weight to unimportant or mundane everyday subjects that quickly tire the students.
We bet that if the ministry’s program were more interesting and relevant, much of the behavioral problems students face would go away.