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Ontario Just Announced A New Plan To Help Students 'Catch Up' After All The Pandemic Chaos

Changes are coming this September! 👇🏼

Toronto Associate Editor
​Stephen Lecce, the Minister of Education in Ontario. Right: Yellow school bus in Ontario.

Stephen Lecce, the Minister of Education in Ontario. Right: Yellow school bus in Ontario.

Since the pandemic hit, students in schools have experienced chaos regarding abrupt school closures, COVID outbreaks, virtual learning struggles and so much more.

Stephen Lecce, the Minister of Education in Ontario, introduced a new "Plan to Catch Up" on Monday, July 25.

This plan "is focused on providing students the best learning experience possible so that they can get back on track and learn the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow," they stated in a press release.

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Ontario's education ministry announced a plan to support students returning to in-class learning in September #ontario #ontarioreopening #students #schools

"Our government is looking ahead as we remain squarely focused on ensuring students receive the best stable learning experience possible, and that starts with them being in class, on time, with all of the experiences students deserve," Lecce said.

The plan consists of five essential pillars, which include:

  • Getting children back in classrooms this September with a full school experience, including extra-curricular activities;
  • New tutoring programs to support and fill the learning gaps;
  • Preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow;
  • More money will be provided to build schools and improve education;
  • Using historic funding to help support students' mental health.

The "Plan to Catch Up" means students will return to school on time and in a safe and open environment. Students will not only focus on developing educational goals but also social developments through in-class learning and extracurricular activities.

To ensure COVID-19 outbreaks are under control, schools will have up-to-date health and safety measures in place. This includes ventilation improvements and safe practices.

Students will also be able to participate in tutoring programs thanks to a "$25 million investment in evidence-based programs to support student achievement in literacy, as well as for professional assessments." In addition, group sizes for these programs will be less than five students a class and "provide tailored and focused support."

"With almost 50,000 children benefiting from Ontario's tutoring investments every week, and summer learning programs underway province-wide, Ontario's plan is getting students back on track," Lecce added.

Preparing students for the real world involves some changes to the curriculum. In this case, it's "revising the career studies course to include personal financial management, budgeting and financial planning tools, as well as providing opportunities for students to investigate careers in high growth industries."

Other changes will be seen in the math curriculum, the new elementary science and technology curriculum, understanding STEM-related concepts, revising the grade 10 mandatory civics and citizenship course, and completing the de-streaming of all grade nine courses, according to the Ontario government.

This plan for the 2022-2023 school year is funded by over $26.6 billion, which is "the highest investment in public education in Ontario's history."

The government also plans to hire 3,000 more staff members and invest $14 million to create classrooms with the highest-quality educators and better facilities.

Additionally, students will have access to mental health support to bring them back on track. They will be guided to achieve "mentally healthy classrooms and learning environments; effective and responsive school mental health supports; and connections to the broader provincial system of mental health care."

The Ministry of Education is hoping to focus on getting back to basics, strengthening life, and developing skills in the classroom. To make sure kids graduate with skills which allow them to be "financially literate, technologically savvy, emotionally intelligent leaders" that would help them thrive in the future.

"Together, we will ensure Ontario students catch up."

    Mira Nabulsi
    Toronto Associate Editor
    Mira Nabulsi is an Associate Editor for Narcity Canada’s Ontario Desk focused on cheap travel from Toronto and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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