VICTORIA, B.C. – With the government announcing today changes of the curriculum in B.C., the BC Teachers Federation is supportive of the changes, but also says more improvements are needed.
“BC teachers and the Federation are generally supportive of the revised curriculum as a whole and the changes to the graduation program,” said Iker. “For some time now, the BCTF has recommended the elimination of provincial exams, so this is a welcome move by government. For many students, provincial exams created significant barriers and took time away from actual learning. Over the years, provincial exams have tended to narrow the curriculum, force teachers to focus on content instead of skills and processes, and had a negative impact on students’ motivation.”
Iker says that the BCTF had many members involved in the revision process. He outlined the concerns of the revision, saying that short timelines and insufficient funding could be a downfall for the implantation of the new curriculum.
He also pointed to a reoccurring issue between the government and the BCTF. Cutbacks and under funding. Iker says that this is also another danger, saying teachers need smaller classrooms and more support for children with special needs.
“The crisis in education funding has lead to over 250 school closures, increased class sizes, worsening class composition, and cuts to specialist teachers like teacher counsellors, resource teachers, and special education teachers,” said Iker. “If BC wants to fully realize this revised curriculum, our students need smaller classes, more support for children with special needs, and more time with specialist teachers.”