The Minister of Education, the Honourable Liz Sandals, visited the Board of Directors at their meeting in January. We at OAPCE were impressed with the presentation and the Minister’s honesty and direct approach. She shared the great successes of the education system in Ontario to date, as well as the goals and strategies in place.
Her presentation on the Physical and Health Education Curriculum explained the rationale for the curriculum which is based on facts, facts from the World Health Organization that now require us to revamp the 5 w’s of our curriculum. The Ministry certainly obtained input from a vast amount of parents, students, and all other stakeholders, across the province. They also consulted with experts and put much time, reflection, and analysis into the process of revising this Curriculum that would be appropriate for all students across the province, across all four Education Systems. When we speak of children, we know that lack of knowledge often leads to engaging in questionable behavior. Let’s remember that the same goes for adults. Remember also the challenge the Ministry has to consider all backgrounds, faiths, traditions and values. This is a massive feat.
We must also remember that Archbishop Collins has discussed the proposed changes to this curriculum to all clergy. They have advised us that once they get a full look at the proposed curriculum and amend, edit, and adapt so as to be consistent to Catholic teaching, they will submit back to the Ministry of Education. This Catholic curriculum will then be implemented in our schools.
Many parents across the province are speaking out very vocally about what they think this curriculum addresses, but they are doing so without the rationale or the correct knowledge (the curriculum has not been released yet, so how can they possibly know). Hopefully we can, now armed with the facts, be better able to address those concerns if we are approached in our regions.
ALSO, please pass on the tip about PRO Grants for 2015/2016: engaging parents/students in math activities to help break down some barriers, and change the perception of math.
Please feel free to use the information that the Minister brought to us, in your Regions.
As always, if you have questions or comments, please contact your Regional Director or the OAPCE office.