The students of the Franco-Cité Catholic secondary school of West Nipissing live a school year marked by the strikes of their teachers.
The latter are members of the Association of Franco-Ontarian Teachers (AEFO), which campaigns in particular against the increase in class size and the introduction of compulsory online courses.
These are two points of tension on which the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, demonstrated an opening at a press conference on Tuesday.
Despite everything, the AEFO continues its strike day on Thursday, claiming that the Minister is making statements
that border on lies, half-truths and [negotiation] in bad faith .
Radio-Canada went to meet four grade 12 students from the student council of the École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité de Nipissing Ouest to gather their impressions of the situation.
It certainly affects our progress and our performance, because if we are not in class, we cannot receive lessons.
I don’t think it will affect our graduation. But obviously, there are going to be bits that we will miss. It is us who are going to suffer when we go to post-secondary and we go forward with our studies. We are able to catch up, but we will have to push harder later.
There is a little more stress in the classes. The teachers are running all over the place and are stressed because of the strike. They have a lot on their shoulders.
Of course, having fewer schools has its positive points. It gives us time to apply for scholarships, to think a little more about post-secondary. But if you’re a Grade 9 student, for example, you can’t really do these things. You can advance in your classes up to a point, but after that …
I think the teachers feel bad for us too. They feel bad about not being able to do classroom activities.
The Minister of Education’s announcement comforts us. Online courses can be beneficial for some people, such as those who want to discipline themselves and use computers. But others learn best in a classroom with a teacher to explain and help them.
We support teachers 100 % and we are there for them. The dynamics are very warm. But it still affects us a lot.
The strike affected the activities we wanted to do. In our biology class, we wanted to bring guests to talk to us about different subjects and careers … but we can’t have a guest.
It was the government that wanted to make online courses mandatory and increase the size of classes. Now they remove everything and they look like heroes. But it should never have been there in the first place.