Quebecers want compulsory swimming lessons – OI Canadian

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An overwhelming majority of Quebecers believe that swimming lessons should be mandatory for children in the province to prevent drownings that continue to claim dozens of victims each summer.

• Read also: Drowning at Super Aqua Club: Victim’s mother devastated by lifeguard’s dilemma

“From 4 years old for Quebec now, all school-aged children should learn the basics of swimming and water safety in order to avoid drownings”, thunders Raynald Hawkins, general manager of the Société de rescue.

His point of view seems to be shared by a strong majority of Quebecers, who answered 90% that compulsory basic swimming lessons for children were a “good idea”, according to a Léger poll for Le Journal de Montreal and TVA.

The question arose as several drowning cases made headlines during the construction holiday. As of Saturday, 42 people had drowned in Quebec bodies of water since the start of the year, according to data from the Lifesaving Society.

In addition, 83% of respondents answered yes to the question “can you swim?”.

The reality, however, may differ from these figures, since people tend to confuse knowing how to bathe and knowing how to swim in deep water, raises Mr. Hawkins

School or parents?

However, Quebecers are more divided on who should be responsible for these hypothetical compulsory courses, since 50% of respondents believe that it should be the parents and 44% the schools.

Mr. Hawkins believes for his part that this learning should be part of the school curriculum, without it falling on the shoulders of teachers. “Parents often tell us that the municipality’s swimming lessons are already full,” he says.

The Lifesaving Society is advocating for the expansion of the Swim to Survive program, which teaches young people aged 8 to 9 in three hours how to swim for survival in deep water.

The program reaches less than 20,000 students annually out of the 185,000 students in 3rd and 4th grade in Quebec.


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