N.B. eyes high school graduation reforms
New Brunswick's Department of Education is launching a major review of the courses and credits students need to graduate, the first assessment in nearly 15 years.
Students are preparing for a return to school in September, but a study will examine what it will take for future students to leave with a diploma by the end of Grade 12.
Valerie Kilfoil, the department's director of communications, said a lot has changed in the last 15 years since the last review was conducted on high school graduation criteria.
Personal computers are now disguised as cellphones and the internet has become an essential part of learning.
Kilfoil said these changes mean schools need to adapt to ensure graduating students have what it takes to survive in today's fast-paced world.
"Countries around the world are looking at what we call the 21st century competencies," Kilfoil said.
"And making sure that what we are teaching in our public school systems are preparing our students for the world they'll be going into."
New Brunswick has a 20-credit system that students must pass before they can graduate from high school. The system requires students hit literacy targets and take seven compulsory credits, which include two Grade 11 English credits, a Grade 12 English course, a math credit, Grade 11 history, a science credit and one credit in fine arts or life role development.
The Department of Education has asked schools, students and post-secondary institutions for their feedback on current requirements to complete high school.
Some of the early feedback from students is they want more choices in the courses they take before high school graduation.
What those various groups report back to the education department could spur changes to courses offered to students.
Kilfoil said the Department of Education will have a draft of their review ready this fall but no actual changes would take place until after this coming school year at the earliest.
Avub Chishti, whose daughter is entering Grade 11 at Fredericton High School, is looking forward to the department's review.
"Any changes the department is making, so our kids are ready for university when they leave Grade 12, would be very much appreciated," Chishti said.