Increasing use of tutoring

For a decade, parents in Quebec have increasingly been using teachers to help their children in school. The pandemic has accelerated the trend.

Posted on January 4

Mathieu Perreault

Mathieu Perreault
The press

Corinne d’Anjou, a forensic odontologist from Candiac, contacted the School Success organization in March 2020 so that her three children, ages 9, 13 and 15, could receive tutoring. “My husband and I continued to work outside the home while the children went to school remotely. The kids had no major problems, but we didn’t want to wait. Finally, we continued with the teachers after returning to face-to-face. †

mme d’Anjou had interrupted tutoring at the start of the school year last September, but resumed it in the fall for her two boys in high school, two and three times a week. “They have dyslexia and skiing and volleyball are competitive so there’s a bit of a lack of time. It gives them stability. I think the guys also need more support for the organization. They’re even looking forward to doing French, which isn’t their favorite subject.”

Félix Morin, who founded School Success in 2006, saw a 30% increase in his clientele during the pandemic, for 1,500 teachers and more than 5,000 students. “Since 2014 we have been doing virtually; before the pandemic it was 30%, now it is 80% virtual. †

Rates for teachers who have at least one year of college and two years of experience with children are $45-$50 per hour.

At Alloprof, which provides chat guidance on weekdays and Sundays, traffic and student numbers rose 20% to 550,000 during the pandemic. “We are accessible free of charge through the government program for financing tutoring during the pandemic,” explains Marc-Antoine Tanguay, director of strategy at Alloprof. Alloprof’s 200 teachers are all teachers and answer specific questions.

Alloprof is a non-profit organization and participates in the government’s pandemic counseling program. School Success is a private company and does not participate in it.

The 48 million euro pandemic tutoring program is not to the liking of Josée Scalabrini, president of the Federation of Education Unions (FSE).


PHOTOGRAPH FROM THE WEBSITE OF THE FEDERATION OF LEARNING UNIONS

Josée Scalabrini, President of the Federation of Educational Unions

We combine tutoring with any service, homework guidance, recovery and even extracurricular activities. If you look in the dictionary, tutoring is individualized teaching, so it must be done by a teacher.

Josée Scalabrini, President of the Federation of Educational Unions

So should public support be limited to tutoring services that don’t just employ teachers? “We understand that community organizations need money, but if we properly funded education, we wouldn’t let all these people go into the community, they would become teachers,” said Ms.me Scalabrini.

Social inequalities

Education cuts have reduced teachers’ time for individual follow-up, so parents seek help where they can, said Ms.me Scalabrini. “Before the pandemic, we already denounced the increasingly frequent use of guardians. It increases social inequality because not everyone can afford a tutor. And the people who use the public program are often the most organized parents, we escape those who struggle to help their children for various reasons. †

Christine Brabant, a specialist on the matter at the Faculty of Education at the University of Montreal, confirms that the pandemic tutoring program can also accentuate social inequalities. “Ideally, tutoring needs would be determined by teachers,” says Ms Van den Berg.me Brabant. In addition, we see teachers enrolling in the government’s pandemic tutoring platform to help their students. Unions don’t like that. †

Sylvie Lemieux, responsible for communication at the FSE, confirms that this union opposition does not come from the FSE. “Of course we want reinforcements and not additions to our task, but the members weren’t meant to do it,” said M.me Best. We know many do. Instead, we advocated for this to be properly incorporated into teachers’ contracts to regulate practice and prevent abuse. †

Tutoring in numbers

15,000: number of teachers on the government pandemic tutoring platform

165,000: Number of primary school students on the government’s pandemic tutoring platform

Source: Reflection of Society

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