B.C. education minister discusses new school curriculum

B.C. Education Minister Mike Bernier says his focus is on the long-term future.

As parents, teachers and students across the Northwest prepare for the first day of school on Tuesday, B.C. Education Minister Mike Bernier says his focus is on the long-term future.

The government is launching a three-year transition to a new curriculum in schools across the province that offers more flexibility in how students learn at school.

“The world is changing and, from an educational standpoint, we need to ensure we are evolving as well,” he said.

“When you look at all the opportunities taking place in the north right now, this new curriculum will really help because students can really look at what they want to do when they grow up and work with their teachers to ensure their educational goals are being met.”

Bernier said one of the cornerstones of the new curriculum is to give youth the most personalized education possible while ensuring the basics are completely covered.

“If you look at the new curriculum, the focus is on the basics to ensure all students have the skills everyone needs, namely ready, writing and numeracy. But what is really exciting is the learning is more personalized. It all depends what students want to do in the future. I have five children and I know they all have different goals and dreams,” he said.

“The focus in that regard is flexibility in the classroom around collaboration, critical thinking and communication skills that are going to be so crucial to students going forward.”

Also included in the new curriculum is an emphasis on environmental sciences, the inclusion of the history and legacy of residential schools, new content regarding the historical experiences of Asian immigrants and the integration of Aboriginal perspectives throughout all grade levels.