Province launching ‘Future Ready’ initiative

  • Oct. 18, 2016 4:57 p.m.

The Province is launching several initiatives known as ‘Future Ready’ that are aimed to coordinate and improve education and skills training to better prepare kids for success in a changing economy, officials said Tuesday.

The first initiative to launch includes an online survey to make sure parents and other concerned Albertans have their say during a review of the province’s K-12 curriculum.

“We know that good jobs begin with a good education. Our changing economy demands a modern curriculum that prepares our kids for success at school and in the workforce. We want to hear directly from parents as we take on this important work,” said Premier Rachel Notley.

“Parents are critical stakeholders in the education system. They are fundamental to it,” she said. “I have strong opinions about my kids’ education and all parents do. So this is about ensuring they have a mechanism for engagement.”

She said students also have strong opinions about what they are learning, “So this is a great opportunity because of the online platform – kids themselves will be able to engage in it and I think that’s really important, too.

“We want to hear from Albertans as to what they see as being important changes to our curriculum – what they want their kids to benefit from,” she said, adding the curriculum as of yet has not been modernized in an effective way. “We need to dedicate the resources, time and attention to it to finish the job.

“It matters – to ensure that what our kids are learning is the most relevant and the most helpful to them as they transition into what is an economy that is changing. The rate of change is growing constantly,” she said. “It’s not something we’ve seen in the past.

“We need to give our kids the tools to deal with that.”

The online survey will run through to Nov. 18th.

Alberta Education will also be looking at research on student learning and what other jurisdictions from around the world are doing and will be holding face-to-face discussions with a cross-section of Albertans, said Notley.

“Working together to improve the quality and coordination of education and skills training will mean our students are ready to succeed at every level, from Kindergarten to post-secondary to careers,” said David Eggen, minister of education, who will be in Red Deer Tuesday evening to chat about curriculum development with parents at Father Henri Voisin School.

Meanwhile, Alberta Education is reviewing curriculum simultaneously in six core Kindergarten to Grade 12 subjects – arts, Language Arts (English, French, Français), mathematics, social studies, sciences and wellness.

Previously, curriculum was developed one subject at a time.

“We know that Alberta needs to diversity the economy,” said Notley. “And ultimately, the government itself cannot decree diversification – what it can do is to create the environment for diversification; to grow from the population itself creative new ways to do things and new areas to put their efforts into.

“Part of this is about trying to encourage that entrepreneurial spirit and creative spirit and supporting kids as they move out of school either into post-secondary education or into the job market along the way.”

To check out the survey, visit http://www.alberta.ca/curriculum-survey.aspx.

mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com

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