Greater Victoria School District.

File photo (Victoria School District)

Starting next September a new graduation program for secondary school students will offer new courses and replace previous provincial exams.

The Ministry of Education says the program will continue to focus on foundational skills like reading, writing and math while helping build a range of other competencies that employers and post-secondary institutions are looking for, like creative and analytical skills, entrepreneurial skills and leadership.

Course options in areas like environmental science, web development, digital media, engineering and robotics will be offered.

Two new career education courses will also give an opportunity to explore career pathways and develop the skills needed to manage career and life transitions.

The Ministry says the changes aim to better prepare students in their final years of secondary school for the future.

Students will also be required to write three new mandatory graduation assessments, numeracy in Grade 10, and literacy in grades 10 and 12. The results will be reported as stand-alone items on transcripts and will replace previous provincial examinations.

The province says the assessments will evaluate essential numeracy and literacy abilities developed across many areas of learning and grades, rather than content knowledge from one particular course.

“All students deserve to graduate with the necessary skills and competencies to help them continue learning and excel in the jobs of tomorrow,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education in a statement.

“We’re pioneering important changes in classrooms today to make sure all students have the opportunity to explore where they want to go in life and build bright futures for themselves.”

The ministry also adds that new K-12 curriculum will include Indigenous knowledge and perspectives.

“Education is a key part of reconciliation, and we know that it’s crucial for Indigenous knowledge and history to be embedded in the learning that happens in the classroom for the benefit of all students,” said Fleming.

New Indigenous-focused courses will be offered starting in September, including Contemporary Indigenous Studies 12 and B.C. First Peoples 12.

Seventeen Indigenous languages have been approved to be taught in B.C. schools and six more are in development.

CHEK News