The BC government has announced new options for students entering their final years of secondary school.
A new graduation program starting next fall will continue to focus on basic elements like reading and writing, but also on skills that employers and post-secondary institutions are looking for, such as analytical, entrepreneurial and leadership skills.
New course options will include environmental science, web development, digital media, engineering and robotics, and two new career education courses will be introduced.
“All students deserve to graduate with the necessary skills and competencies to help them continue learning and excel in the jobs of tomorrow,” says Rob Fleming, Minister of Education (pictured). “We’re pioneering important changes in classrooms today to make sure all students have the opportunity to explore where they want to go in life and build bright futures for themselves.”
Students will also be required to write three new mandatory graduation assessments, numeracy in Grade 10, and literacy in grades 10 and 12, with the results reported as stand-alone items on student transcripts.
“The assessments will maintain the high standards and rigour that the province’s education system is known for, and are aligned with the new curriculum,” says Fleming. “They will also replace course-based provincial exams and will instead evaluate essential numeracy and literacy abilities developed across many areas of learning and grades, rather than content knowledge from one particular course.”
Grades 10-12 students will continue to receive report cards with letter grades and percentages for all courses, and still be required to complete at least 80 credits for graduation.
For the first time, the new K-12 curriculum ensures Indigenous knowledge and perspectives are woven across all grades and areas of learning.
Several new Indigenous-focused courses will be offered starting in September 2019, including Contemporary Indigenous Studies 12 and B.C. First Peoples 12. In addition, 17 Indigenous languages have been approved to be taught in B.C. schools and six more are in development. Teachers are being supported to include Indigenous content, both historical and contemporary, into all subject matter.
Fleming says the changes to the Graduation Program and K-12 curriculum were made following extensive engagement with students, parents, education partners and stakeholders, post-secondary institutions and representatives of various industries.