People for Education's response to provincial education consultations
From October to December 2018, Ontario’s Ministry of Education is engaging in province-wide consultations on a range of issues, including:
- improving student performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
- preparing students with job skills, such as skilled trades and coding
- improving provincial standardized testing
- ensuring students graduate high school with important life skills, including financial literacy
- banning cellphone use in the classroom
- building a new, age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes subjects like mental health, sexual health education, and the legalization of cannabis
- developing elements for a Parents’ Bill of Rights
People for Education, in its submission to the government for this consultation, is focusing on three of these areas: standardized testing; preparing students with skills for the future; and effective Health and Physical Education curriculum.
When test scores are used as a proxy for overall system success, it can lead governments to target funding and policy in ways that may ignore competencies that are vital for students’ long-term success.
Ontario’s curriculum and policy requires change to ensure that students are prepared for the world they will enter upon graduation. However, it is important to focus on the competencies they need for the future.
Effective, evidence-based health education is vital to support students in adopting healthy lifestyles. It helps them manage risks, and provides them with the skills and competencies they need to engage in health-promoting behaviours.