Accelerated training programs to become a patient attendant or practical nurse contain “at home” hours. Time financed by the Ministry of Education… which is nevertheless unaware of its existence.
At the École des métiers des Faubourgs-de-Montréal, the accelerated program to become a beneficiary attendant consists of 375 hours of training. Of these, 42 hours appear in the schedule as “home” time. In the regular and accelerated Health, Assistance and Nursing programs — which lead to a job as a practical nurse — up to 305 out of 1,800 hours are “at home”.
These hours should in theory be devoted to homework. “Students must complete the work they are given. It is the student’s responsibility to do them seriously,” explained the Center de services scolaire de Montréal (CSSDM) to Duty.
These hours, confirmed the CSSDM, are funded by the Ministry of Education. But the latter asserts that they do not exist.
“Upon verification, the study programs do not include home hours. There is therefore no work expected, since such hours are not planned in the study programs,” wrote a spokesperson for the ministry, Esther Chouinard, to whom The duty submitted a series of questions about “at home” hours.
In the teaching profession, the presence in the schedule of this “at home” time raises questions. During a meeting organized with the management of the Faubourgs-de-Montreal School of Trades on October 17, teachers tried to find out if these hours were funded. They also wanted to take stock of the expectations, for students and teachers, during these.
Their concerns are also shared by education unions. “The total duration of the hours prescribed in the vocational training program must be offered to each student in the centers or in the workplace,” underlines Josée Scalabrini, president of the Federation of Education Unions (FSE-CSQ). “By recognizing time at home rather than teaching time, we reduce the number of hours of training to which students are entitled. This is neither desirable nor usual,” she adds.
Annie Primeau, from the Autonomous Federation of Education (FAE), believes that hours at home do not always constitute the adequate and ideal solution for students.
For their part, members of the teaching staff are wondering about the savings that these hours “at home” can generate for the school. The existence of funded hours devoted to homework in programs that are already highly condensed also worries those who provide student training. Ahead of the October 17 meeting with management, some teachers at the Faubourgs-de-Montreal School of Trades reported to management that they had the impression of working in a program where everything is “garroché”. They said they felt that the school was transforming into “a factory of attendants” — a place where, moreover, it seemed “impossible to punish a student for failure,” we read in documents sent to staff.
Mme Primeau observed the phenomenon. “There is a lot of pressure, particularly with many of these students receiving scholarships. It becomes difficult for the teacher to set the student up for failure,” she says.
At the request of students
The CSSDM provides a different perspective. “The opportunity to offer “at home” hours is the result of a desire to adapt to the realities of our students,” wrote its media relations department. “Considering that a significant proportion of our students told us they share or have parental responsibilities and experience difficulty reconciling work, studies and personal life, this modality offers flexibility favorable to their success. »
The presence of “at home” hours does not remove “absolutely anything from the requirements,” clarified the school service center. And “as with any program, failure remains possible,” added the communications department.
Questioned on this subject, the Ministry of Education confirmed that failure was indeed possible, but not documented at its level. “Yes, it is possible for a student to fail one or other of the targeted programs. The Ministry of Education cannot confirm whether a student has ever failed a program. This is a certificate of professional studies; certifications are issued by school service centers,” wrote spokesperson Chouinard.
As for the CSSDM, it underlined that the success rate of students from the accelerated Health, assistance and nursing program “was 95%” at the Order of Auxiliary Nurses of Quebec, without specifying the reference year. . This accelerated training contains as many hours as the usual training (1800), but it lasts 14 months rather than 18.
In the regular and accelerated Health, Assistance and Nursing programs, home hours were introduced in January 2023 and January 2022, respectively. In the Support for Assistive Care in Long-Term Care Facilities program, which trains future caregivers, “at home” hours were introduced in July 2020.