Ontario introducing mandatory technology credit for high school students
The provincial government is bringing in a new mandatory technological education credit for Ontario high school students, the education minister announced Friday.
In a news release, the province said the change will begin with students entering Grade 9 in September of 2024.
"I am proud to announce another step forward to ensure all students learn the critical skills necessary to succeed and get a good paying job," said Education Minister Stephen Lecce, in a statement.
"By requiring students to take at least one Technological Education credit in high school, we are opening up doors and creating new pathways to good jobs in STEM and the skilled trades. All students will benefit from a greater emphasis on hands-on learning experiences and technical skills in the classroom so they can graduate with a competitive advantage in this country."
The province says this new graduation requirement will "expose Ontario students" to at least one course that could "guide them to a future career" in the skilled trades. There are almost 100,000 unfilled skilled trades jobs in Ontario right now, the government says, prompting a push to get more people into those roles.
Lecce said the province wants young people to know that this new requirement will "open doors and opportunities for everyone," especially girls.
About three-quarters of high school students already graduate with at least one technological education course, but the majority are male students, the government said.
Charmaine Williams, the associate minister of women's social and economic opportunity, said that for Ontario to succeed, the province needs more women and girls pursuing skilled trades careers.
"I have five children, all of whom are in Ontario's public education system and I want to ensure that they and all other children in Ontario have the absolute best shot at being economically successful," she said.
The technological education curriculum cover a range of sectors, including construction, transportation, manufacturing, and computer technology, among others.
This news comes on the heels of a provincial announcement this week that Ontario will allow students, starting in Grade 11, to transition to full-time apprenticeship programs while still earning a high school diploma.