Ontario high school students must take 2 mandatory online courses before graduation

High school students will now have to take two online courses that are requirements for graduation. The government said the 2023-2024 graduating class will be the first class to complete the courses.

Ford government previously required four online credits

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Ontario high school students will now be required to take two mandatory online courses in order to graduate. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

High school students in Ontario will now be required to only complete two online courses in order to graduate. 

Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, made the announcement on Thursday afternoon. 

Previously, the Ford government required students to take four online courses, but have now backtracked on that statement. 

Lecce said the province is trying to demonstrate that it's being reasonable.

The Ford government said the initiative allows the province to be a "global leader of modern and digital education," they stated in a press release.  

The mandatory online classes will start being counted toward graduation requirements in September 2020.

Students graduating in 2023-2024 will be the first cohort required to complete the mandatory two courses. 

Offered courses include grade 11 biology, grade 12 data management, and grade 10 career studies. Lecce said STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] courses will also be offered. 

Lecce said the plan would offer students more course options and flexibility. 

The government said it will consult with Ontarians before rolling out the program to ensure "the approach to online learning will meet the needs of students and educators."

Earlier this year, the TDSB cut more than 300 classes as a result of provincial changes to class size averages.

Later on, the government said the class sizes would remain 'effectively the same.'

with files from The Canadian Press