The association repenting the parents of almost 100,000 children in Quebec’s English schools is condemning the government’s imposition of homogeneous, statist name-changing branding on school service centres. The words “board” and “commission” disappear and are replaced with “centre de services” with the Quebec flag at the bottom right.
The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) says the imposition of new language and branding on centres replacing school boards as per Bill 40, “break with a longstanding tradition of educational networks identifying themselves according to their own values and the communities they serve.”
“The uniform, government branding appears to visibly absorb service centres into the anonymity and homogeneity of government apparatus, without any mind or need to individual communities’ symbolism or aesthetic” says EPCA President Katherine Korakakis.
The change is not a small issue she says. “It’s about identity. The government is repeatedly saying that school boards or centres should reflect local communities but imposing a Quebec logo doesn’t reflect communities.” Korakakis said local centres should have complete freedom to choose their own identities to truly reflect their communities.
“We believe that the branding and most identifiable instances of a school service centre must be distinct from that of any other government or para-public institution, and that it is immediately recognizable amid the bureaucratic drabness of government services and materials.”
The visual value is even more significant given in a province that is arguably obsessed about symbolism – their own, and others. “It should be obvious to any reasonable person filling out an online form or viewing a website, that they are visiting an institution with which they register their child,” says Korakakis, “as opposed to a web page where one applies for a pond-fishing license.”
This she says, is ostensibly more difficult “if their visual identities are dismissed and distanced from their stakeholders.”