Ontario introduces mandatory technology credit for high school students
The provincial government is introducing a new mandatory technology education credit for high school students in Ontario, the education minister announced Friday.
In a press release, the province said the change will begin when students enter Grade 9 in September 2024.
“I’m proud to announce another step forward to ensure all students learn the crucial skills needed to thrive and get a well-paying job,” Education Secretary Stephen Lecce said in a statement.
“By requiring students to earn at least one credit in technology education in high school, we are opening doors and creating new avenues to good STEM and craft jobs. All students will benefit from an increased emphasis on hands-on learning experiences and technical skills in the classroom so they can graduate with a competitive edge in this country.”
The province says this new degree requirement will “expose Ontario students” to at least one course that could lead them “to a future career” in the craft. There are currently nearly 100,000 unfilled trades jobs in Ontario, 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 have completed at least one technical degree, but the majority are male students, the government said.
Charmaine Williams, assistant minister for women’s social and economic opportunities, said the province needs more women and girls to pursue careers in crafts for Ontario to thrive.
“I have five children, all of whom are in the Ontario public education system, and I want to make sure they and every other child in Ontario have the very best chance of being economically successful,” she said.
The technology education curriculum covers a range of sectors including construction, transportation, manufacturing and computer technology among others.
The news follows an announcement by the province this week that Ontario will allow students beginning in grade 11 to transition to full-time education programs while continuing to pursue a high school diploma.