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Teachers protest against bill that would overhaul Quebec education system

Teachers' groups held a protest outside the National Assembly this morning to voice their opposition against the Quebec government's new education bill.

One of the groups, Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE), says Bill 23 is disconnected from people actually working in the field. They say the proposed legislation is an attack on the autonomy of teachers and that it doesn't actually address some of the major issues plaguing public schools for the last two decades.

They want the proposed legislation withdrawn.

Tabled in early May, the bill would give more power to the education minister. If passed, he would be able to appoint directors general of school boards and school service centres and override their decisions.

On Thursday, Education Minister Bernard Drainville suggested he might be open to allowing people with only a high school education to become teachers, saying it's not the first choice but is better than no teacher at all.

In the meantime, the opposition's motion to require teachers to hold at least a bachelor's degree was defeated Friday in the national assembly.

"I was actually very shocked yesterday when I heard Mr. Drainville saying, 'Well, it's better than nothing to have someone with a high school diploma in school teaching the kids,'" said the Quebec Liberal Party's education critic, Marwah Rizqy.

"So this summer, we're going to have the graduation in June and then you're telling me that it's ok that the same student that graduated can be in school in fall. "

Hearings on Bill 23 started Thursday and continue next week. The Quebec English School Boards Association, the only group representing English-speaking Quebecers, is scheduled to comment on the bill when the hearings on Bill 23 continue next week. Top Stories

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