Arrival of a vaccine: a glimmer of hope for students, says Minister Danielle McCann

Arrival of a vaccine: a glimmer of hope for students, says Minister Danielle McCann

The arrival of a vaccine brings a glimmer of hope for college and university students, says Higher Education Minister Danielle McCann, who suggests that more could be returning to campuses in Canada. during the winter session.

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“We see the light at the end of the tunnel. When we hear that the vaccine is coming, I think we will be elsewhere in March, ”she said in an interview with The newspaper.

Even if it is too early to guarantee anything, Minister McCann indicates that with the start of the vaccination, which will begin next week, “the situation will change” since a good part of the population in risk will be vaccinated over the next few months.

“We have to see how it will unfold, but indeed, if we see that we have a decrease in the pandemic and an improvement in the situation, and if we are able to make flexibility during the session, we will do so , that’s for sure, ”she added.

Psychological distress

The psychological distress of students, who have to take the vast majority of their courses online in the red zone, has made headlines in recent weeks.

The results of a survey conducted by the Ministry of Higher Education among 600 students from Quebec CEGEPs and universities, including The newspaper obtained a copy, confirm that isolation weighs heavily on the morale of students: 63% consider that their psychological health has deteriorated, a proportion similar to that obtained by the Quebec College Student Federation in a previous survey.

The majority of students surveyed (71%) say they lack motivation to follow their courses, while 67% of them consider that learning is more difficult this year. Almost half (45%) consider that they have fallen behind in their studies.

Even though the vaccine brings a glow at the end of the tunnel, Mr.me McCann remains concerned about the situation: “We still have to spend the next few months. That’s why we have to help our students with all possible strategies. ”

If the students seem fairly satisfied with the progress of their session despite the circumstances, the level of dissatisfaction rises with the support services offered to them.

Minister McCann says additional help will be available during the winter session, recalling the additional investment of $ 10 million recently announced to provide more support in mental health.

New video clips produced by TÉLUQ to guide them through online training will also be available at the start of the winter session.

Asked not to let go

While the survey reveals that 16% of the students questioned are thinking of giving up their studies, the minister asks them to hold on.

“Last spring, it was the start of the fight, it was extremely difficult,” she said. In September, establishments were better prepared. In the winter, we will be even better prepared because we would like students to continue their studies, knowing that the situation will improve in 2021 because of the vaccines. ”

Not just bad news

  • 60% of CEGEPs and university students are generally satisfied with the fall semester
  • 66% to 71% are satisfied with the quality of distance learning courses
  • 71% are optimistic about continuing their studies despite the pandemic

In the actual context

At CEGEP

  • 36% prefer distance learning
  • 48% prefer face-to-face lessons

University

  • 44% prefer distance learning
  • 46% prefer face-to-face lessons

Source: Survey conducted by an independent firm for the Ministry of Higher Education from October 30 to November 4, 2020 with a representative sample of 300 CEGEP students and 300 university students.

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