KAWARTHA LAKES-The Ontario government says it is updating high school courses in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), including learning related to the skilled trades to improve students digital literacy and modern technological skills.
There were 17,865 job vacancies for computer and information systems professionals in Ontario in the second quarter of 2022, reflecting current demand for computer science/technological-based jobs.
These changes to the Computer Studies and the Technological Education curriculum also support the government’s plan to align curriculum changes with the province’s economic needs.
“I am proud to announce another step by our government to ensure students are prepared for the jobs of the future. This change will provide students with hands-on experience with technology, expose them to real-life problem solving, and enhance learning that focuses on giving young people the skills to think critically, dream boldly and chart new pathways forward for our economy,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “Our focus is to ensure our students have the most up-to-date curriculum that strengthens life and job skills leading to rewarding careers in technology and innovation, including in the skilled trades.”
The two new curriculum changes are:
- A new Computer Studies curriculum, beginning with a new Grade 10 course to be implemented in September 2023.
- A new Technological Education curriculum, beginning with revised Grade 9 and Grade 10 courses to be offered in September 2024.
The Digital Technology and Innovations in the Changing World course will replace the current Grade 10 Introduction to Computer Studies course which was last updated in 2008. Since then, the world has welcomed an emergence of significant technological innovations such as the advancement of smartphones and wearable technologies, connected and automated vehicles, and the rise of social media. The updated Computer Studies curriculum is meant to position Ontario as a leading jurisdiction in STEM education and provide students with the opportunity to apply coding concepts and skills to build hands-on projects and investigate artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and other emerging digital technologies that can support them in a wide range of fields and careers.
The revised Technological Education curriculum, which has not been updated since 2009, will reflect the advancements in automation across sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and construction, which has increased the need for a highly skilled workforce.
“Our government continues to foster innovation by growing Ontario’s world-class workforce,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Every year, more than 65,000 students graduate from STEM related programs. By modernizing STEM and skilled trade-related courses, we’re ensuring our talent pool continues to grow and that Ontario businesses continue to innovate and thrive.”
By 2026, it is estimated that as many as one in five jobs openings in Ontario will be in the skilled trades. The province is also expected to face a shortfall of 100,000 construction workers over the current decade.