Youth wing of Quebec’s Liberal party pushes to abolish CEGEPs

August 11, 2014

The youth wing of Quebec’s Liberal Party says that the province’s CEGEP system is no longer relevant and will endorse proposals to abolish it at this weekend’s Youth Conference. The proposals would then be forwarded to the Quebec Liberal Party. Young Liberals President Nicolas Perrino said that the CEGEP model is ill-suited to the current labour market, and argued that the education system should be designed to meet the needs of employers. The group proposes instead that students be given a choice between moving directly into trades training or pursuing a year of preparatory training for university. Alexis Tremblay, President of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ) dismissed the Young Liberals’ idea as unnecessarily disruptive. CBC

Postscript: August 12, 2014

Quebec’s Premier Philippe Couillard says he has no plans to reform the province’s CEGEP system, in spite of a proposal from his party’s youth wing. The proposal only narrowly passed at the party’s Youth Conference, though the Montreal Gazette reports that the final vote took place after many opposed to the reform had left the hall. Young Liberal President Nicolas Perrino said that reforming the CEGEP system will make it more “utilitarian” and better meet the needs of business and industry. However, Couillard said that employment “is not the only goal of the education system. The system is there ... to train youth for jobs but also to [provide] citizens with a general education and this has to be offered in all the regions of Quebec.” Couillard said he appreciated the youth wing’s desire to “rock the boat,” and added that he is open to making the CEGEP curriculum more flexible and responsive to the labour market, so long as employment does not become its only goal. Montreal Gazette