B.C.s Ministry of Education is looking to the school districts for feedback.
The ministry are holding workshops called A Community Conversation about the Future of Graduation Requirements across the province, with one at Steveston-London secondary on Tuesday.
The event invited community members, parents, students and administrators to discuss changes they would like to see to the school curriculum. Attendees were divided into smaller discussion groups to talk about five key questions presented by the ministry.
Approximately 150 people showed up to Tuesdays event, with 80 parents, 30 students from Grades 8-12 and 40 community members and administrators.
Having the students here has been really awesome, said assistant superintendent Wendy Lim. They show their passion in the future of their schools. These high school students are the freshest out of the system, so theyll be able to help younger grades.
What stood out most amongst the students was the need for more hands-on experience.
More volunteer opportunities will allow us the ability to talk to people in different career fields, said a Grade 12 McMath secondary student.
In a similar vein, the ministry proposed to increase the amount of choice students have in high school, giving them more flexibility to pursue these opportunities.
This would mean a decrease in the number of mandatory courses in higher grades.
The curriculum would need to shift so that by Grades 8, 9 and 10, students have already been exposed to the basics in a variety of subjects and can choose which ones they want to learn more about in the higher grades.
We might be decreasing the mandatory subjects, but well be shifting the whole curriculum so that students become life learners, said Lim. If a subject isnt learned at school, we want them to be curious to find out more on their own.
B.C has the highest number of learning outcomes of any region worldwide at 84, according to ministry representative Lynn Archer. This means students are responsible for learning 84 areas, from magnetic fields in Grade 2 to algebra in Grade 6.
The ministry is looking to reduce the amount of outcomes so teachers dont feel overwhelmed by the amount.
While students agreed with an increase in flexibility, parents and administrators wanted to see more attention paid to technology and plagiarism. Other parents discussed the role of diversity in the school system and the need to better integrate ESL students into the regular school system some even questioning the necessity of the service.
I find the program isolates my kids more because theyre missing out on whats going on in the classroom, said one parent.
Each participants input was documented and will be used to compile the final report.
The report will be sent to the board by December, with the ministry receiving feedback from all districts by the following year.
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