By MPP Toby Barrett
To The Haldimand Press
Last fall, the Ontario Government took immediate steps to initiate a broad-ranging curriculum consultation of which all Ontarians had the opportunity to take part. Consultations ran from September to December 2018. Over 72,000 submissions were received from parents, students, educators, employers, and organizations. This was the largest education consultation in Ontario’s history.
In fact, the number of engagements in these consultations increased 11-fold compared with that of the previous 2014 curriculum consultation.
The majority of respondents felt that the current education system is doing a poor or very poor job of teaching financial literacy and expressed support for experiential learning to improve job skills and student performance in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Respondents also expressed support for some form of restriction on cellphones in schools; that it is important that parents play an active role in the education system and have open communication with schools and boards; and that the Health and Physical Education curriculum address topics in an age-appropriate manner.
Most recently, in March 2019, the province released two consultation guides on class sizes in Grades 1 to 12, as well as on hiring practices. The prior consultations, as well as for the most recent round of consultations, will help shape the government’s plan for education.