Edmonton

Alberta government wants kids to be 'Future Ready'

The Alberta government is introducing a series of new initiatives to prepare school children for “success in a changing economy.” The initiatives are under an umbrella called Future Ready, Premier Rachel Notley and Education Minister David Eggen told a news conference Tuesday.

First step is an online survey for parents, other 'concerned Albertans'

Premier Rachel Notley, Education Minister David Eggen and Labour Minister Christina Gray unveil Future Ready initatives at a news conference Tuesday. (Lydia Neufeld/CBC)

The Alberta government is introducing a series of new initiatives to prepare school children for "success in a changing economy."

The initiatives are under an umbrella called Future Ready, Premier Rachel Notley and Education Minister David Eggen told a news conference Tuesday at Queen Elizabeth high school in Edmonton..

Future Ready is described as "a long-term focus on integrating education and training from kindergarten to work, so all Albertans have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the changing Alberta and global economy."

The effort will involve several ministries with input from industry, labour professionals, teachers and parents.

Notley said the changing economy "demands a modern curriculum that prepares our kids for success at school and in the workforce. We want to hear directly from parents as we take on this important work."

The first step is an online survey to ensure that parents "and other concerned Albertans have their say" during a comprehensive review of the province's K-12 curriculum in arts, language arts, math, social studies, sciences and wellness.

Survey available now

The online survey started Tuesday and will run until Nov. 18.

Eggen described the survey as a huge undertaking.

He said he expects of thousands of responses. He said there is a system in place that can handle that volume.

Six core subjects are being reviewed simultaneously including arts, language arts, math, sciences and wellness.

"Most of it hasn't been revised for a very very long time," Notley said.

"We do believe there is a need to talk more about, for instance, climate change." 

Notley and Eggen both said curriculum changes also need to reflect the history of Indigenous people in Alberta.

That change is something Grade 12 student Cheyenne Neufeld would like to see.

She would like a more accurate representation of her background reflected in what she learns at school.
Cheyenne Neufeld, a grade 12 student at Queen Elizabeth High School, would like to see more of her Micmac culture reflected in what she learns at school. (CBC)

"I'll be reading something and I'll be like, ''Oh well, I guess, I guess that's me," Neufeld said.

"But thinking about it, there could be so much more involvement, so much more said about our culture."

As part of the curriculum review, Alberta Education will also be looking at research on student learning and what is being done in other jurisdictions around the world. It will also be holding "face-to-face discussions with a cross-sections of Albertans," the government said.

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