Students and parents in Ontario can look forward to stronger math, STEM, and financial literacy curricula, a province-wide ban on cellphones in the classroom and improved skilled trades opportunities, as part of the Government of Ontario’s new vision for ‘Education that Works for You.’
“(We) threw the doors open to real, meaningful public and parental input into our education system,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education. “We heard from more than 72,000 parents, teachers, students, employers and organizations making this the largest consultation of its kind in Ontario history. The people told us what wasn’t working and what we need to protect.”
The government’s plan, Education that Works for You, hopes to protect a sustainable world-class education system for the students of today and the future and modernize the province’s classrooms and curriculum.
The province wants to ensure students are leaving school with the skills they need to build good lives, families and careers while ensuring our education system is both fiscally sustainable and respectful of parents.
The new vision will modernize Ontario’s classrooms and provide students with more learning opportunities to prepare them for success in post-secondary education, apprenticeship and training, and the workforce.
The plan calls for maintaining class sizes for Kindergarten to Grade 3, establishing a consistent approach to class sizes for grades 4 to 8 and aligning secondary class sizes more closely with other Canadian jurisdictions, while introducing a new approach to e-learning and reducing pressure on school boards to put students in portables and split classes.
The curriculum reform will include: a new math curriculum that will focus on math fundamentals for all grades; renewed focus on STEM, skilled trades and financial literacy; and an age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that will keep students safe.
There will be clear provisions for parents who wish to exempt their child or children from sexual health education, and online modules will be available for parents who want to discuss sexual health topics at home whenever they feel their child is ready.
The government is committed to discussing the key elements of the proposed plan, including hiring practices and class sizes, through a consultation process that allows partners to provide the benefit of their expertise, experience and ideas.
Photo: Province wants educators to get back to the basics.