#Ontario; #OntarioEducation; #NewElementaryMathCurriculum
Ottawa, Jun 25 (Canadian-Media): Ontario's new elementary math curriculum, developed over two years in consultation with parents, math educators, academics and math education experts was released by the Ontario Government on June 23, media reports said.
The curriculum, designed to reverse a decade of declining math scores, to strengthen math competence, improve grades, and to better prepare students for work in a rapidly changing world, will be available to students across the province beginning in September 2020.
Professional development would be provided to educators including $10 million aimed at board-based math learning leads, $15 million for school-based math learning facilitators, and $15 million to familiarize the educators with the curriculum.
Details were released by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education during a news conference on June 23.
Christine Elliott, Doug Ford, Stephen Lecce, and others. Image credit: Video grab
"When I became a premier I made a commitment to the parents. I promised that we would fix the broken education system we inherited. I promised the children to learn fundamental basics once again so that they succeed," said Premier Ford during the news conference. "Today, our government is delivering on that promise with the first-ever math curriculum in 15 years in Canada for Grades 1-8 that includes the teaching of coding and financial literacy, both critical skills that will help our students every day skills for life long success."
Lecce said that for over a decade, too many students were lacking everyday math, financial literacy, and numeracy skills and hoped that the new curriculum will help students solve everyday math problems, and better prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow by ensuring every student learns how to code.
To make the new curriculum accessible to students, parents, educators, etc. the Ministry of Education would upload the curriculum to the new Curriculum and Resources website, a digital space which would be accessible to anyone who wished to learn or teach.
This platform will help parents, students, and teachers see connections between learning in different grades and subjects.
"Ontario's new mathematics curriculum...support how students use math in the world today, and how they will use math to make informed decisions in the world ahead of them," said Dr. Christine Suurtamm, Vice Dean Research, and Professor of Mathematics Education, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa in a news release on June 23.
According to the new curriculum Grade 3 and 6 students are not required to participate in Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) assessments during the 2020-21 school year, as the ministry works to align the assessments with the new curriculum.
Students in Grade 9 and Grade 10 will continue to take the mathematics assessment and Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), respectively.
The Ontario Government would provide classroom-ready resources for each grade, as well as in-depth virtual training for teachers, principals and board staff.
#UN; #UNESCO; #InclusiveEducation; #Covid19Crisis
Geneva, Jun 23 (Canadian-Media): Inclusive education should be a “non-negotiable” right for all children, the head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in a new report launched on Tuesday, UN reports said.
UNICEF is supporting families of children with disabilities to attend schools in the poorest districts of Maputo and Matola in Mozambique. Image credit: © UNICEF/Aminadab Jean
Released at the start of what is being heralded as a “decade of action” for education, as the world grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report illuminates how countries are putting diversity at the core of their education systems, with varying degrees of success.
“It has never been more crucial to make education a universal right, and a reality for all”, UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said in the report’s foreword.
Challenges aboundHowever, as underlying inequalities exacerbate learners’ needs, well-meaning laws and policies often falter, and educational opportunities continue to be unequally distributed, keeping quality education out of reach for many.
Even before the pandemic, one-in-five children, adolescents and youth were entirely excluded from education.
Stigma, stereotypes and discrimination mean millions more are further alienated inside classrooms, with the current crisis further perpetuating different forms of exclusion.
And while the world is “in the throes of the most unprecedented disruption in the history of education”, Ms. Azoulay stated that social and digital divides “have put the most disadvantaged at risk of learning losses and dropping out”.
“More than ever, we have a collective responsibility to support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, helping to reduce long-lasting societal breaches that threaten our shared humanity”, she said.
Inclusivity is key
The core recommendation of the GEM report is to understand that inclusive education means equal access for all learners, notwithstanding identity, background or ability.
And it identifies different forms of exclusion, how they are caused and what can be done to mitigate them.
Moreover, GEM provides policy recommendations to make learner diversity a strength, to be celebrated as a force for social cohesion.
Ms. Azoulay noted that “the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed and deepened” inequalities and the “fragility of our societies”.
At the same time, past lessons have shown that health crises can leave many behind, particularly poor girls who may never return to school.
As the world seeks to rebuild inclusive education systems, the report recommends practices on governance, curricula, teacher education, school infrastructure - and relations with students, parents and communities - aimed at increasing access to the classroom.
The UNESCO chief called it “a call to action we should heed”, paving the way for more resilient and equal societies in the future.
“Only by learning from this report can we understand the path we must take in the future”, she said.
A look at the numbers
Inclusion is not just an economic but also a moral imperative.
And yet, 40 per cent of the poorest countries have not supported at-risk learners during the COVID-19 crisis.
Furthermore, the law in a quarter of the world’s countries, require children with disabilities to be educated in separate settings, while only 10 per cent have laws to ensure full education inclusion.
“To rise to the challenges of our time, a move towards more inclusive education is non-negotiable – failure to act is not an option”, she concluded.
#UBC; #BoardOfGovernorChanges; #Inclusion;#Justice; #Equity
British Columbia, Jun 21 (Canadian-Media): The following statement was issued Jun 2o by Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, on changes to the University of British Columbia's (UBC) Board of Governors, media reports said.
“Today, I was informed of Michael Korenberg’s resignation from his position as chair and board member of UBC’s Board of Governors, effective immediately.
“Our government and UBC are deeply committed to inclusion, justice and equity for all.
“The university has an inclusion action plan and has begun implementing it. I believe UBC will continue its work to provide a world-class education to all of its students in a safe and supportive community environment.”
Melanie Mark. Image credit: Twitter handle
#B.C.; #Canada; #IndigenousStudents; #PostSecondaryInstitutions
British Columbia, Jun 20 (Canadian-Media): $6.15 million is being provided to British Columbia (BC) government to indigenous students for their success at public post-secondary educational institutions throughout B.C. and to enable them to finish their studies, media reports said.
“We’re investing in the future of Indigenous students throughout British Columbia,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training according to today's news release. "I’m proud to be part of a government that is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by empowering Indigenous students with the tools they need to pursue their dream careers and make it to the finish line.”
Melanie Mark. Image credit: Twitter handle
This support includes $6.15 million for initiatives and programs that respond to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and for annual Aboriginal Service Plans that support the goals of the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan.
Partenering with programs that improve the post-secondary educational experiences and outcomes of Indigenous learners, this funding will enable the institutions to develop learning environments including programs and supports to make post-secondary more accessible and that address systemic barriers.
“When Indigenous students have access to learning and cultural supports, a world of opportunity opens up that can make a significant impact on their future careers and lives,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “Students are our future. By improving Indigenous students’ experiences and outcomes in post-secondary school, we are advancing reconciliation and helping to build a brighter future for everyone.”
Programs and activities supported by the funding include: outreach activities and events to promote Indigenous cultures; Indigenous cultural training for faculty and staff at post-secondary institutions; enhanced programs and courses to include Indigenous culture and knowledge; providing financial, academic or career counselling to students; delivery of programs or courses on campus or in Indigenous communities; and partnerships and engagement in Indigenous communities through community liaison, peer mentorship or Elders-in-residence programs.
Examples of ongoing and past years’ programs and activities at institutions throughout B.C.:
#Ontario; #Education; #AdditionalMaterialsDeveloped; #Covid19Pandemic
Ottawa, Jun 18 (Canadian-Media): Additional educational content is being provided by the government of Ontario in partnership with Science North and the Ontario Science Centre for students and teachers during the school closures resulting from COVID-19, media reports said on June 15.
Stephen Lecce. Image credit: Twitter handle
A funding of up to $1.5 million for the creation of made-in-Ontario videos and resources to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning is being provided by Ontario will help students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
"Through our partnership with Science North and the Ontario Science Centre we will create new resources focusing on STEM skills that will help our students continue to prepare for the jobs of the future," said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education in a news release.
Resources for elementary school teachers and students would be created by Science North while the Ontario Science Centre will develop materials for secondary school teachers and students.
All resources will be accessible and available in both English and French and will include: Professional development videos for educators; Virtual and at-home hands-on STEM activities for students; Activities and student worksheets which can be printed and distributed through school boards
"Science North and the Ontario Science Centre have been welcoming Ontario's young learners to the wonderful world of science for decades...I'm proud that these new online resources will support students with the high-quality, accessible content they need to continue learning at home during this unprecedented time said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries in a news release of June 15.
"Science North is a tremendous educational resource in Northern Ontario, home to some of our brightest and boldest thinkers and we thank Science North for their ongoing commitment to inspire creativity and learning across the north." said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Minister of Indigenous Affairs.
Resources can be accessed online at Science North and the Ontario Science Centre websites, with additional material being released weekly. Activities will use everyday objects and supplies so students can participate easily at home.
Guy Labine, CEO, Science North said that these online workshops and resources will support teachers in delivering inquiry-based lessons for elementary students through at-home learning. These are unprecedented times and we all share these challenges, united in our goal of supporting continued learning in Ontario. We applaud the Ministry of Education for their support."
"At the Ontario Science Centre, our mission is always to inspire discovery, encourage curiosity, and instill a love of learning," said Paul Kortenaar, CEO of the Ontario Science Centre. "We are pleased to partner with the Ministry of Education to provide these curriculum-based resources, which are a continuation of the experience we give teachers and students on field trips to the Centre."
#Brampton; #ACISA; #NonprofitOrganization; # SouthAsianDigitalFestival
Brampton (ON), Jun 12 (Canadian-Media): Arts & Culture Initiative of South Asia (ACISA), a non-profit organization will present this year's festivals in Brampton, digitally owing to the current COVID-19 pandemic from July 21 to Sep 3, media reports said.
Image credit: Website
“More than ever now is when arts and music and culture have the power to uplift spirits and to bring people together in these unprecedented times. Our festivals endeavour to do just that” says Ricky Bajaj, ACISA co-founder and president, said June 11 in a press release.
ACISA with a vision to cross cultural understanding in bringing a diverse community together to celebrate life, culture, art, and tradition is mandated to promote the diversity of South Asian art forms a wide range of both Non-South Asians & South Asians audience.
This year's festival would showcase the participation from more than 100 local and international artists from the Bollywood playback and Pakistan music industry and enable different communities in Brampton to experience rich South Asian heritage.
“The festival promotes local talent and includes an exciting line-up of emerging artists and well-known names in the entertainment industry which appeals to all ages,” adds festival art director and co-founder, Arpan Banerjee, a press release of June 11 said.
Four events included in this year's festival Vibrant Brampton, Vibrant Star, Visual Arts of South Asia (V.A.S.A) Arts festival and META would digitally showcase the culture and diversity of Ontario.
VibrantBrampton would present performances from renowned and emerging artists every Tuesday and Wednesday from July 21 to August 5, 2020.
VibrantStar would showcase six finalists in their hunt for talent combating to win the top prize in three categories- vocal, instrumental and dance. Online auditions will begin from the week of June 15 followed by quarter finals in the week of July 13, culminating in a finale in the week of July 20, 2020.
Vibrant Star. Image credit: Website
VibrantClassical- Launched this year, this to provide a platform for classical artists to showcase their art forms, this new segment is scheduled to run every Thursday starting August 20 for three consecutive weeks until September 3, 2020.
Visual Arts of South Asia (V.A.S.A) festival- In this arts festival artists would be provided with an opportunity to connect, create, and promotes visual arts through educational workshops and performances.
META- A digital and modern art festival in which exciting content will be live-streamed every Tuesday and Thursday for the entire month of August. Tuesdays will be devoted to workshops/panels featuring local creators and partners, while Thursdays will feature live-streamed performances from global and local artists. The first two Tuesdays/Thursdays will focus on Brampton, while the remainder two Tuesdays and Thursdays will shine the spotlight on Mississauga.
These projects promote cross-cultural understanding, multiculturalism, local talents, grow community pride, strengthen civic engagement, increase attendees not only from Brampton and greater Toronto area but also from neighboring cities such as Ottawa and Montreal, South Asian art lovers from the USA and, west coast South Asian population e.g. Winnipeg, Edmonton, Surrey, and Vancouver.
Partners of this year's festival include the City of Brampton, Canadian Heritage, Canada Council of Arts, City of Mississauga, Brampton Library, Mississauga Music, Beaux-Arts Brampton, and Visual Arts Mississauga.
#Ontario; #OntarioPostsecondaryEducation; #Safe&GradualReopening
Ottawa, Jun 11 (Canadian-Media): A plan has been developed by the Ontario government in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the gradual and safe resumption of in-person instruction at postsecondary institutions across the province for the summer term, media reports said.
"Our students, researchers and postsecondary community in Ontario have stepped up in a big way to support our frontline health care workers in response to COVID-19...Now, we have to make sure our students can keep learning...and become the next generation of frontline heroes, innovators and community builders," said Ontario Premier Doug Ford on June 10.
Doug Ford. Image credit: Twitter handle
This first phase will start in July 2020, with limited in-person education and training for students failed to graduate due to COVID-19 closures and would be dedicated to students in essential, frontline, and high labour market demand areas, such as nursing, personal support workers, engineering, and other critical professions
This would benefit thousands of students across the province.
"It's critical that we allow students to complete their studies...join the workforce in high-demand...help put the province back on the path to prosperity," said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities in a news conference on June 10 at Queen’s Park, Toronto.
Ross Romano. Image credit: ola.org
Romano added he would ensure safe reopening of the staff as well as students.
In September, all students will have the opportunity to attend postsecondary education through virtual learning, in-class instruction, or hybrid formats with proper health and safey measures in place.
Publicly assisted colleges and universities, Indigenous Institutes, private career colleges and other postsecondary education institutions are also allowed to participate in this voluntary reopening.
In 2018-19, more than 800,000 students enrolled in Ontario’s colleges, universities, Indigenous Institutes and private career colleges located in every region of the province.
Led by the work of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, and in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts, the government is planning a measured and phased approach outlined in A Framework for Reopening our Province.
"Throughout Ontario, faculty and staff have found creative and effective ways to continue delivering high-quality programs...collaborating with the government on further measures to modernize post-secondary education...during Ontario's economic recovery,” said Linda Franklin, President and CEO, Colleges Ontario.
“The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff remains a top priority for Ontario’s universities...and an enriching university experience that ensures they graduate with the adaptable skills required to help retool and reimagine industries, stimulate economic growth and rebuild Ontari,” said David Lindsay, President & CEO, Council of Ontario Universities
#OntarioEducation; #Anti-Black racism#PDSB; #Investigation; #OntarioEducationAct
Toronto, Jun 8 (Canadian-Media): Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued June 8 the following statement regarding Ms. Arleen Huggins' investigation report on the Peel District School Board (PDSB).
Stephen Lecce. Image credit: Twitter handle
"We are determined to confront all forms of racism, discrimination, and hate, against all minority communities in our province. For too long, too many kids have been left behind due to systemic frameworks that perpetuate racism. This is unacceptable and must change.
That is why in November of 2019, I swiftly ordered an investigation into the PDSB, following serious allegations of racism.
To ensure compliance with my direction, on April 27, I appointed Arleen Huggins - a lawyer and human rights advocate - to investigate the PDSB's capacity to comply with my directions. I have now received Ms. Huggins' report and would like to thank her for her effective and principled work. Her report reveals the need for real change within this board and provides a necessary component to ensuring these issues are addressed immediately and effectively.
Most troubling, her report finds that certain directions have not been complied with, and moreover, that the PDSB lacks the capacity to provide good governance in the interests of all students of the board and to effectively carry out its responsibilities to oversee and ensure proper compliance with my directions.
As outlined in the Education Act, I am required to provide a final opportunity for compliance from the Board. My expectation is clear: the Board must change, or I will take further action. We cannot and will not sit idle, while families and students continue to feel isolated, victimized, and targeted.
It is clear that we must continue our work to confront racism - specifically anti-Black racism - within our schools across the province. Our Government will continue to drive change, demand improvement, and stand-up for students who face hate and racism."
#Montreal; MACReopening; #FêteNationaleDuQuébec;
Montreal, Jun 5 (Canadian-Media): The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) is pleased to announce its reopening for visitors as of June 24, just in time for the Fête nationale du Québec. The MAC will reopen with an adjusted schedule (open from Wednesday to Sunday, from noon to 6 p.m.) and special measures.
MAC. Image credit: Facebook page
"I am pleased to announce free admission to the MAC on June 24 for our first day of reopening," said John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator of the MAC." We are firmly convinced that art can be a priceless source of comfort in situations of uncertainty and given these unprecedented times, we are thrilled to be able to reopen the Museum."
Buying and booking tickets
For the free day on June 24th, as well as for subsequent days, visitors must book their tickets and time slots online: https://macm.org/en/buy-tickets/ (online ticketing will open June 20). MAC members may access the museum freely at any time, but they are nonetheless invited to book tickets and time slots online. No fee will be applied to the booking.
The MAC is inviting the public to enjoy its art again and come discover or rediscover artists from its collection and its ongoing exhibitions, which will be extended: Painting Nature with a Mirror and Points of Light.
The purpose of art can sometimes be to bring people to reflect on and confront the harsh realities we live in. For bold visitors who aren't afraid to question the modern world, the MAC is presenting as of July 4, two powerful and dystopian video works from Montreal artist Jon Rafman, which form a diptych in the artist's mind : Disasters Under the Sun (2019) and Poor Magic (2017) (Beverly Webster Rolph Room).
Upcoming virtual events
The MAC will also be holding some free virtual events in the coming weeks, including:
The Museum will be implementing special measures when it reopens to ensure the safety of its visitors and employees, while continuing to provide a pleasant, unparalleled experience. For example:
Since health is everyone's business, the MAC is also asking visitors and its employees to followthe hygiene measures recognized and recommended by the Quebec government.
The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal is a provincially owned corporation funded by the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Government of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
Located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal makes today's art a vital part of Montréal and Québec life. For more than fifty years, this vibrant museum has brought together local and international artists, their works and an ever-growing public. It is also a place of discovery, offering visitors experiences that are continually changing and new, and often unexpected and stirring. The MAC presents temporary exhibitions devoted to outstanding and relevant current artists who provide their own particular insight into our society, as well as exhibitions of works drawn from the museum's extensive collection. These may feature any and every form of expression: digital and sound works, installations, paintings, sculptures, ephemeral pieces, and more. In addition to its wide range of educational activities familiarizing the general public with contemporary art, the MAC organizes unique artistic performances and festive events. It is a window onto a myriad of avant-garde expressions that extend the reach of art throughout the city and beyond. macm.org/en/
Washington, Jun 4 (Canadian-Media): With nearly 1.2 billion children out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, inherent inequalities in accessing the internet and other tools, allow them to continue their studies threatens to deepen the global crisis in learning, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Friday, NASA reports said.
A seven-year-old girl studies online at home in Kyiv, Ukraine, as schools remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ©UNICEF/Filippov
“Access to the technology and materials needed to continue learning while schools are closed is desperately unequal. Likewise, children with limited learning support at home have almost no means to support their education. Providing a range of learning tools and accelerating access to the internet for every school and every child is critical”, said UNICEF Chief of Education, Robert Jenkins.
“A learning crisis already existed before COVID-19 hit. We are now looking at an even more divisive and deepening education crisis.”
Disparities in access
UNICEF data reveals that in 71 countries worldwide, less than half the population has internet access. Yet, nearly three-quarters of governments in 127 reporting countries, are using online platforms to deliver education during the pandemic.
Authorities are mainly using television to deliver remote education, despite disparities in TV ownership.
More than 90 per cent of countries in Europe and Central Asia use the medium, and 100 per cent in South American. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the figure is 77 per cent.
UNICEF reported that in 40 of the 88 countries with data, children living in urban areas are twice as likely to have a TV than their rural counterparts. The largest disparity can be found in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, only 1 in 100 homes in rural Chad has a television, compared to 1 in 3 in cities.
Governments are also using radio to deliver educational programmes, with 60 per cent of the reporting countries using this method.
Radio ownership varies both across and within regions. Devices can be found in just one in five households in South Asia, compared to three out of four, in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Transforming education systems
Countries have been transforming their educational systems to meet the current demands, UNICEF said.
Governments in countries in West and Central Africa, for example, have been working with local service providers to deliver education for primary and secondary school children either online or through radio, TV and paper-based approaches.
“In Somalia, offline recorded lessons are being uploaded onto solar-powered tablets and made available to children”, the UN agency added.
Video lessons are also shared through social media channels such as WhatsApp and Facebook and broadcast through radio and TV.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education in Jamaica is using national television and radio, as well as online platforms and WhatsApp, to provide lessons at all levels.
Steps are also being taken to provide more than 200 of the most vulnerable students, with tablets equipped with connectivity and educational content.