Jeff Itcush is quite correct to note (The state of Quebec education, March 31) that Quebec compares favourably to many educational benchmarks as highlighted in the international PISA surveys. However, for all of its so-called strengths, the Quebec education system systematically fails many of its adolescent clientele.

In a 2018 study, the "Institut du Quebec" determined that only 64% of public high school students graduate! The overall percentage rose slightly to 69% when private school students were factored into the total. In other words, approximately one-third of students who enter secondary I (grade 7) do not complete the courses of study within the normally expected five-year time frame.

This graduation success rate is the lowest in North America and represents a complete failure on the part of all past Quebec Ministers of Education and their minions.

Although the data clearly illustrate that Quebec adolescents have a dismal initial graduation rate, the success percentage rises to 80% when students are permitted an additional two years of study. Nonetheless, even within this artificially extended time frame, 20% of adolescents (mostly males) do not attain basic secondary school academic credentials!

Two salient questions need to be asked; namely, how are these young poorly educated people to survive in a modern Quebec, and what specific plans are being formulated to shrink this unacceptable failure rate?

Jon Bradley

Associate Professor (Retired)
Education/McGill University

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