News Release - The Ontario government is updating high school courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, including apprenticeships in the skilled trades, to ensure Ontario students have the advanced digital literacy and modern technology skills they need to be the global economic, scientific and societal innovators of tomorrow.
The revisions to the computer science and technology education curricula are part of the government's plan to align the curriculum with the economic needs of the province and to emphasize the life and work skills needed in the rapidly changing skilled trades sector.
"I am proud to announce one more step our government is taking to ensure students are prepared for the jobs of the future. These changes will provide students with hands-on experience using technology and solving real-life problems, and deepen the learning that gives young people the skills to think critically, have big ambitions and open up new avenues to move our economy forward," said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. What we want to do first and foremost is provide students with an updated curriculum that strengthens life and work skills leading to rewarding careers in technology and innovation, including the skilled trades."
Here are the two new curriculum changes designed to better prepare students for the jobs of the future:
- A new computer science curriculum framework, beginning with a new 10e year taught from September 2023
- A new technology education curriculum framework, to be implemented beginning with 9e year and 10e revised grades to be taught starting in September 2024
Digital Technologies and Innovations in a Changing World replaces the current 10e year Introduction to Computing course, which was updated in 2008. Since then, there have been significant technological innovations, including the advent of smartphones, wearable technologies, connected and automated vehicles, and the rise of social media. The revised Computer Science curriculum will position Ontario as a leader in STEM learning and provide students with the opportunity to apply coding concepts and skills to complete hands-on projects and study artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and other emerging digital technologies, which will open up broad career opportunities in a wide range of industries.
The revised technology education curriculum, which has not been updated since 2009, will reflect advances in automation in industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, and construction, which have led to increased demand for highly skilled labor. These revisions will help prepare students for rewarding, high-paying careers in communications, the construction industry as electricians or plumbers, and manufacturing.
Our government continues to promote innovation by developing Ontario's world-class workforce," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. Each year, more than 65,000 students graduate from STEM-related programs. By modernizing courses that are related to STEM and the skilled trades, we are ensuring that our talent pool continues to grow and that Ontario businesses continue to innovate and thrive."
These curriculum revisions are in addition to other steps the government is taking to strengthen Ontario's Skilled Trades Strategy, which aims to attract more students to the skilled trades sector and has $4.8 million in funding over two years to expand dual credit programs.
In addition, these curriculum revisions are part of the Next steps in Ontario's Catch-Up Plan and ensure that students can discover and pursue learning opportunities that will lead them to consider careers in the STEM sectors and skilled trades. Other recent revisions to the Ontario curriculum include:
- the science and technology framework programof the 1st to 8e year, revised and implemented in September 2022
- the new 9-hour open science classe yearimplemented in September 2022
- the new 9-hour cross-curricular mathematics coursee yearimplemented in September 2021
- the new mathematics curriculumof the 1st to 8e year, implemented in September 2020
- As of Q2 2022, there were 17,865 vacancies in Ontario for computer systems professionals, reflecting the current demand in the computer science and technology sector.
- By 2026, about one in five jobs in Ontario is expected to be in the skilled trades. The province expects a labour shortage in the construction sector that will see 100,000 unfilled jobs in the current decade.
- In November 2021, Ontario announced an additional investment of $90 million over three years to better promote the skilled trades to youth. Including this investment, between 2021-2022 and 2023-2024, Ontario's funding for the Skilled Trades Strategy totals almost half a billion dollars.
- In 2022-2023, students have been authorized to participate in more than 25,500 dual credit courses, of which more than 10,900 are related to the skilled trades.
- Ontario modernizes its science curriculum
- Ontario Introduces New Elementary School Mathematics Curriculum
- Modernizing Mathematics Education in 9e grade in Ontario schools
- Province takes steps to help students catch up
- Dual credit programs
- Ontario Budget 2022: Ontario's Plan to Build
Source and full release: Ontario Ministry of Education