March 14, 2011
On March 11, Mr. Chatel gave a talk on the theme of “New frontiers for schools,” before a large audience of HEC Montréal students and members of the French business community. His speech, an initiative of the Consulate General of France in Montréal and the French Chamber of Commerce in Canada, was part of an official visit to gather information on the Ontario and Quebec educational systems
Mr. Chatel took the opportunity of his stay to study solutions implemented here to prevent violence at school and lower the drop-out rate, both priorities for the French educational system. In his speech, the Minister said he was impressed by the reforms and efforts made here for this purpose. He noted that France could take inspiration from these strategies, since its goal is to improve the level of education of French youth.
Following his speech the Minister took questions from the audience and from panellists including HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry. Questions concerned the job outlook for French graduates, the independence of educational institutions, the role of new technologies in the education system and the integration of students from different backgrounds, among other topics. He emphasized that the variety of students in classes is a great challenge for teachers. Mr. Chatel also praised Canadian educational systems, since our country continues to turn in excellent performances on the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests.