Quebec’s auditor general says the province’s Education Department was ill-prepared when the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to shutter in March 2020 and it still does not have a complete picture of the learning delays that resulted.
Guylaine Leclerc expresses concern in her audit of the Education Department that the lack of data won’t allow for effective remedial measures, meaning some students could drop out and be deprived of a diploma.
Her report says it’s not irreversible, but it’s important to know where students are struggling to be able to put appropriate measures in place.
The report also finds the province was slow to provide school boards, known as service centers in Quebec, with guidance on the minimum educational services to be offered in the spring of 2020, which led to widely different offerings depending on the school district.
Many service centers also did not have the necessary computers to pivot to online education, and for some that situation persisted 18 months into the pandemic.
Leclerc was also critical of the department’s purchase of $42 million in video-conferencing equipment that remains largely forgotten.