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EMSB cancels high school mid-year board exams with more strike days on the horizon

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The province's largest English-language public school board says it is cancelling all high school mid-year board exams due to the ongoing public sector worker strike in Quebec.

In a memo to parents on Wednesday, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) said it made the decision to cancel the exams scheduled for January 2024 "after careful consideration and discussion with in-school administrators."

However, the board, which represents 44,000 students, warned that individual teachers can still decide to hold in-class exams.

"Our decision aims to provide teachers with more time and allow students to focus on learning without the added burden of impending board exams," reads the memo signed by Anna Sanalitro, the director of educational services.

Classes were cancelled for three days last week across Quebec as the Common Front of public sector unions walked off the job.

The collective of unions, which represents more than 420,000 public sector employees, has not yet reached a deal with the province over wages and working conditions. It announced Tuesday that it will hold a weeklong strike from Dec. 8 to 14.

Classes will be cancelled again by the time the weeklong strike comes, unless the unions can come to an agreement with Quebec beforehand. 

Meanwhile, on the college side, students in Quebec might be in the classroom or taking their exams during the winter holidays as administrators scramble to find ways to hold the required number of classes in a semester.

Federation of CEGEPs president Bernard Tremblay said that CEGEP students are required to be in class for 82 days per semester. With three strike days already on the books and more strike days coming, filling those that obligation is going to prove to be a challenge. 

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