We, the Quebec physical education teachers have been living in uncertainty for some time and fear for our youth's future. There is a constant issue being brought to light that cries for a social debate: our children's and our youth's physical condition isn't very good and could jeopardize their quality of life once they become adults. Habits and types of leisure activities have changed, and so has our youth's interests. Today's family-oriented outdoor activities do not seem to be the most popular thing to do.
As it has been the case for a long time, we are no longer trying to preserve our jobs or our "teaching minutes". We are far from being at war with English teaching as a second language, or music or arts teachings for that matter. What we do want is question our government's decision-makers in regards to choices made in the past and those being chosen for the future.
Can someone honestly be considered "competent" when he isn't healthy enough to accomplish his work with the necessary energy? Is the old saying "a healthy mind in a healthy body" completely out of touch with today's reality? Given that tenacious health adversaries such as electronic video games, television and fast food are constantly present, isn't it realistically possible to think that schools have the mandate to educate our children to care for their own physical, social and mental well-being, and in so doing, their own future? Can we foresee a school schedule that could include more physical and health education? Couldn't the health care savings we would obtain in the future pay for the immediate extra costs deriving from these measures?
Lots of questions asked, lots of deceptions received. Not so long ago, on New Year's Eve, our elders used to wish "health and happiness" to their loved ones, a tradition that has lost a few feathers throughout the years... and most of its significance in that time span!
We think that Quebec, said to be a "distinct society", can and must define its values system and envision our next generation' s future in all of its aspects, which also includes acquiring health habits and the ability to integrate them in a daily lifestyle. This is why the petition included along with this letter and also existing in electronic format, is presently circulating in Quebec. We hope this will rally both physical educators and people who are concerned with the future of our youth, and who consider their health to be a priority issue within the boundaries of the present education reform mandate.
On May 12th 2001, this petition will be handed over to the Prime Minister of Quebec as well as to the ministers Trudel, Maltais, Legault, Baril and Legendre. You have until May 11th 2001 to sign and return it by mail to this address: FÉÉPEQ, Université de Sherbrooke, Feps, a/s Pétition ÉPS, 2500 boul. Université, Sherbrooke (Qc) J1K 2R1.
Until then, if you prefer, you may also sign it on the Internet at this URL address: http://www.bandesportive.com.
Thank you for your support!
Physical and Health education teacher
"La bande sportive E.P.S." Webmaster
Mr. Bernard Landry,
Prime Minister of Quebec,
Mr. Rémy Trudel,
Health and Social Services Minister,
Ms. Agnès Maltais,
Health, Social Services and Youth protection Minister delegate,
Mr. François Legault,
Education and Youth Minister,
Mr. Gilles Baril,
Sports and Leisure Minister,
Mr. Richard Legendre,
Tourism, Sports and Leisure Minister delegate
We, the undersigned, consider that Quebec youths' physical condition has diminished throughout the years to the point where it is perilously endangering the health of those who will assume our province's destiny for decades to come. We find that the present time allotted to physical and health education (60 minutes) is insufficient to efficiently incorporate the new health program. Our youths' lifestyle having significantly changed in one generation, we believe our heads of state have a responsibility to prioritize this issue.
This is why we ask the Government of Quebec to commit into implementing measures aiming to improve our youths' physical condition and to, as early as possible, significantly raise the allotted time slot for physical and health education teaching in all scholastic sectors.
This petition is, in essence, a way to raise consciousness to the future of our Quebec society and our youths' well-being. We hope to receive a written answer to our plight.