Teachers with only a high school diploma

With a high school diploma it is possible to… become a teacher. Four people with only a DES were authorized by Quebec to teach in an elementary or secondary school last year. A situation that shows how schools are “poorly staffed”, according to the directions.

Posted at 7:45 PM

Marie-Eve Morasse

Marie-Eve Morasse
The press

During the 2020-2021 school year, the teacher shortage caused more than 3,700 unqualified people to enter classrooms under a “dedication tolerance” granted by the Ministry of Education.

Ten got it based on their high school diploma (DES) alone, learned The press following a request for access. Six were hired for vocational training, four for general youth training, the ministry said.

This proves how “we are taken badly” in schools, said Nicolas Prévost, president of the Quebec Federation of Educational Establishment Directors (FQDE).


Nicolas Prévost, President of the Quebec Federation of Educational Institution Directors

“I’ve seen it before: students who graduated from high school the year before, who are studying at university, and who come to give their name. Often these are short-term contracts, not long-term contracts. But it happens. We’re here,” said Mr. Prevost.

Which gives rise to unusual scenes. “You may find yourself managing your friends, who were in third or fourth high school the year before and who are in fifth. And you, you are in CEGEP”, illustrates the chairman of the FQDE.

In October 2020, the daily The right reported that a recent high school graduate had been hired to teach mathematics at a high school at the Cœur-des-Vallées School Service Center (CSSCV), in Outaouais.

“Before this year, we generally didn’t hire people who didn’t have at least one [diplôme d’études collégiales] to learn. For the first time, we had to lower our criterion,” CSSCV Secretary General Jasmin Bellavance explained to journalist Daniel Leblanc.

“Not the best service”

The number of non-legally qualified teachers in Quebec schools is at an all-time high in 10 years. “We have some really good ones, but we also have some that don’t do the job. It’s that simple,” says Nicolas Prévost.

For the Ministry of Education, a “break in duty” is the absence of a teacher from a class. The FQDE sees things differently.

“If I find myself with a non-legally qualified person who doesn’t have the tools to teach third grade, is the student getting the best help? The answer is no,” said the president.

Would such a situation be accepted in other professions? he asks.

As far as I know, there aren’t many job categories where you take Pierre, Jean, Jacques and say, go to class.

Nicolas Prévost, President of the Quebec Federation of Educational Institution Directors

Were there any teachers with only a high school diploma in primary and secondary education this year? We have learned from the Ministry of Education that the most recent data on unqualified teachers is from last year.

The figures obtained by The press, which includes both general youth education and vocational training teachers, also indicate that 300 people who were provisionally licensed to teach had a vocational education diploma. Nearly 400 others had university degrees.

Most of the non-legally qualified teachers (2055) have a baccalaureate degree.

With the collaboration of William Leclerc, The press

More information user manual

  • 3757
    Number of non-legally qualified teachers in Quebec schools in 2020-2021

    Source: Quebec Ministry of Education

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