By: Blake Ellis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Grade 10 students and teachers across Ontario will have a new computer studies course for the beginning of the next school year in September 2023.
“I am proud to announce another step by our government to ensure students are prepared for the jobs of the future,” said Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce, when he made the announcement on Dec. 12. “This change will provide students with hands on experience, expose them to real life problem solving and enhance learning that focuses on giving young people the skills to think critically, dream boldly and chart new pathways forward for our economy.”
Lambton Kent School District Superintendent of Education Mary Mancini, who oversees student success, secondary, and adult and continuing education, said the school district has not yet the seen the details of the new curriculum. This is not unusual when the provincial government makes a curriculum announcement.
She said the changes would have to be made quickly as students will be making their course selections by the end of February and early March in preparation for the next school year. She is confident teachers will be up to the challenge of delivering the new curriculum.
The Digital Technology and Innovations in the Changing World course will replace the current Grade 10 Introduction to Computers class, which was lasted updated in 2008. Technologies which have emerged since has been the advancement of smart phones and the rise of social media.
These changes are made as part of the provincial government efforts to enhance the curriculum when it comes to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said Mancini. The new Grade 9 mathematics course, which came into place in September 2021, had a section on coding.
Other changes will be made to technological education at the Grade 9 and 10 levels in September 2024. The new curriculum will reflect the advancement in automation in the agricultural, manufacturing and construction sectors.
The construction industry is expected to face a shortage of 100,000 workers over the next 10 years. It is expected one in five job openings by 2026 will be in the skilled trades. There are also 17,865 job vacancies in Ontario in the second quarter of 2022 in the computer and information systems sector.