British Columbia has plans to make Holocaust education mandatory for high school students with additions to Grade 10 curriculum coming in 2025.
Premier David Eby says it’s been a “frightening time” for the Jewish community after deadly terrorists attacks by Hamas militants in Israel earlier this month.
He says there has been a rise in antisemitism in B.C., and combatting hate starts with learning from the past so the same horrors are never repeated.
A statement says the B.C. government is “committed to broadening the scope of the required Grade 10 social studies curriculum” with changes coming in 2025.
It says that will ensure students learn about the murders of six million Jews and others by the Nazis during the Second World War, while “learning about discriminatory policies and injustices in Canada and around the world.”
Eby made the announcement at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver on Monday.
The changes will take effect in the 2025-2026 school year to allow for consultation with the Jewish community and education partners, including the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre.
The province’s statement says further additions to the Grade 10 social studies curriculum will also be considered “to reflect the diversity and history of B.C. clearly.”
“This includes more learning on topics such as the destruction of Hogan’s Alley, Japanese internment and discrimination against other culturally diverse groups such as Muslim, East-Asian, Black and South-Asian communities,” it says.
Conversations with stakeholders will happen over the next year, it adds.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.