Education Ministry Announces Big Changes to School Curriculum
Prince George, B.C. – Fewer finals, more parent input, and a new mandatory course are three of the big changes announced today in regards to B.C.’s new public school curriculum.
Education Minister Mike Bernier says instead of exams; students can expect a focus on “foundation skills.”
“So right now we have five provincial exams in the graduation years – grades 10-12, we’re going to be replacing those only having two exams that will test math skills and literacy.”
He says the government will be moving to classroom assessment for those other subjects that used to have provincial exams – science, social studies and grade 10 language arts.
“The reason why we’re doing that is teachers know their students best and choose a method to evaluate them that takes into account their strengths and their challenges rather than having a provincial exam where every student is looked at simultaneously and being graded at the same level at the same issues.”
As for report cards, from late June to October, parents will be consulted on what they want to know about their child’s progress and how they want to get that information. Bernier says the government will be releasing more details regarding that plan over the next “couple of months.”
Another new feature of the school curriculum is a new, mandatory course the ministry is calling ‘Career Education.’
“That will be starting in the 2017-18 school year where students will have to take this course in order to graduate,” says Bernier.
“But what they’ll be learning in that course will really be about showing them a link between their studies, the classroom and then their opportunities outside of school and opportunities in life.”
The new curriculum will be fully implemented in the K-9 years this fall, and will be available in draft for teachers to use for grades 10 to 12 at the same time.
“So really it’s about preparing students for success,” says Bernier. “We know the world is changing and we know that our education system also needs to change to keep up with that.”