Increase in tutoring presents dilemma for educators

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative
Increase in tutoring presents dilemma for educators

Last week, Fédération des syndicats de l’enseignement (FSE) President Josée Scalabrini expressed her opinion about the significant uptick in after school tutoring services and how, in theory, it could create two classes of students.

Scalabrini, who is quoted in La Presse, noted that not every student can afford tutoring services, which in turn could put a spotlight on social inequalities in Quebec. She also said that due to cuts to the education system, teachers have less time for individual attention.

In an interview with The Record, Scalabrini explained that her position in La Presse stemmed from a question about the rise in tutoring and inequality in Europe. According to the president, she was simply responding to whether a similar situation is developing in Quebec.

The use of tutoring services isn’t a new phenomenon, Scalabrini continued, but it has often been reserved for families with the means to pay for it. However, she does have qualms with the overuse of the term ‘tutoring’, which she views as problematic for educators.

“We need to be careful how we use the word ‘tutoring’. When we do homework supervision, recovery, even extracurricular activities, it’s not always tutoring,” said Scalabrini, adding the definition of the term is being used too loosely in the province these days.

She also believes if the government were to release funds for tutoring, it should be given to school boards and community organizations. But her opinion has left a bitter taste for those working in the tutoring sector, particularly out of Phelps Helps, a service in Stanstead.

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