Province Expands Focus on Higher-Order Skills, Technology and Well-Being: Ontario is building on the gains made in education over the past 10 years with the release of a renewed vision for the education system that will ensure students get the knowledge and skills they need to thrive.
The renewed vision, Achieving Excellence, continues to focus on basics like reading, writing and math, while placing a new emphasis on higher-order skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration and entrepreneurship. It also recognizes the importance of student well-being inside and outside of school.
Earlier today, the province announced it will invest $150 million over three years in technology and learning tools such as new digital tablets, netbooks, cameras, software and professional development for teachers. This fund will create new opportunities for students and teachers to take advantage of new technology and prepare them for good jobs in the global economy.
Guided by Achieving Excellence, the province will focus on achieving tangible results, such as:
- Expanding hands-on programs like Specialist High Skills Majors and Dual Credits
- Recognizing learning opportunities outside of school, including community-based, civic, humanitarian, scientific, artistic and international experience
- Increasing graduation rates and closing achievement gaps for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students, children and youth in care, and students with special needs
- Working with education and health partners to improve and expand health services for students and families
- Working with partners inside and outside of school to encourage students to be physically active and practise healthy lifestyles
Supporting a world-class education system is part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario’s greatest strengths – its people and strategic partnerships.
- Ontario’s graduation rate in 2013 was 83 per cent – 15 percentage points higher than the 2004 rate of 68 per cent. This means that 138,000 more high school students graduated over the past 10 years than would have if the rate stayed at the 2004 level.
- In 2013, 71 per cent of Ontario’s grade 3 and 6 students were meeting or exceeding the provincial standard in reading, writing and math. That’s a 17 percentage point increase from 54 per cent in 2003.
- Thousands of people participated in extensive provincewide consultations for the renewed vision, including eight in-person consultation sessions and 1,178 online submissions.
Ministry of Education, April 7, 2014