The president of the Quebec Liberal youth wing says CEGEPs should be canned in favour of creating large technical schools throughout the province.

Nicolas Perrino told CBC News that there was a time when post-secondary, pre-university programs fulfilled a social mandate.

"The needs of the 21st century are not met with the CEGEPs right now. They were good in the 1960s when our parents were baby boomers, but we don’t believe it’s good for us anymore," Perrino said.

Mobile users: Listen to CBC Daybreak interview here

CEGEP a waste of time

The CEGEP system (Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel) was created in 1967 by the provincial government to promote higher learning.

Currently, Quebec students moving from high school to university have to make a two-year stop at CEGEP first. It is free to attend CEGEP, less registration fees and the cost of books.

Perrino said for students who know they want to go to university, CEGEP is a waste of time.

“You’re basically losing two years of your life,” he said.

Instead, he’s proposing replacing CEGEPs with large, prestigious technical schools throughout the province.

“We want people to study technical programs and we want them to do it in their region with a link with the businesses in the region,” Perrino said.

He said part of the reason was to keep people in their regions for as long as possible to help promote growth outside of Quebec’s major cities.  

Perrino said he plans to float the idea at the Young Liberals convention this weekend at Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Que.

As it stands, students graduating from high school can go directly to a technical school or CEGEP. Students over the age of 21 can also apply to university as mature students, provided they meet the admission requirements.