Charest wants Quebec students to volunteer

Jean Charest plans to increase student involvement and volunteer work by modifying Quebec's high school programs.

CAQ wants to slash Quebec's school boards

Jean Charest plans to make volunteering mandatory for high school seniors. (Radio-Canada)

Quebec's Liberal Party Jean Charest announced he plans to increase student involvement and volunteer work by modifying Quebec's high school programs, during a campaign stop in Sherbrooke on Wednesday.

Charest said his government would stretch an entrepreneurship course over the last two years of high school in order to "stimulate the entrepreneurial future of Quebec."

As it stands, the course is optional and not offered in every school, said Charest.

The program would also add 10 hours of mandatory community work to the "contemporary world" class for high school seniors.

"The schools will offer the framework and determine where these kids will volunteer," said Charest.

The volunteering could happen within the school or through community organizations.

Charest added that this program would most likely "open their eyes, and permit them to have this kind of contact" which would push them towards a "lifetime of volunteer work."

CAQ to slash French school boards by half

In the meantime, Coalition Avenir Québec candidate Mario Bentrovato said his party wants to eliminate school boards.

Bentrovato has volunteered at the English Montreal School Board for 13 years. He said the meetings are "like an actual circus."

His aim is to abolish school boards and invest that money into educational resources.

If elected, the CAQ plans to cut Quebec's 60 French school boards in half and replace them with regional centres.

The province' nine English school boards would also be turned into regional centres.

The CAQ's president and candidate Dominique Anglade said this will enable schools to decide which resources they need.

She said the decision-making would be brought down to the school level.

The English Montreal School Board said having a centralized body is important.

Chairwoman Angela Manici said she doesn't know exactly how the CAQ's plan will work if it is introduced.

She said there is "not enough substance" to its plan and that other provinces where school boards were eliminated have been forced to bring the boards back.

Manici said she hopes to meet with the CAQ to discuss its education platform.