This year, Albertans have come together in a remarkable way to ensure life continues as normally as possible despite the challenges we are all facing during a global pandemic. And our current school year is an excellent example of this.
On behalf of the Government of Alberta, I offer a heartfelt thank you to all of our education and health partners who have provided thoughtful and insightful input into our robust plan for the return to school. And I thank all of the teachers, support staff, school boards, administrators, students and parents who are putting that plan into action each day.
Whether learning in the classroom or from home, make no mistake, we will not let any challenges stand in our way. We are committed to ensuring Alberta’s students succeed at whatever they choose to pursue. That is the driving force in everything we do.
Our vision for learning means students gain the knowledge and skills to form the foundations for successful and fulfilling lives, and make meaningful contributions to their communities and the world. To do this, our education system must teach essential knowledge and foundational competencies.
Updating Alberta’s curriculum to emphasize the values, learning foundations and outcomes students need for rich personal and working lives is a key commitment we’ve made to parents and students.
Actions we are taking or have taken to ensure Alberta students are successful include:
- continuing to build new schools to ensure students have modern, up-to-date learning environments
- ending the focus on so-called “discovery” or "inquiry” learning, also known as constructivism, by transforming student learning with a new ministerial order
- updating and implementing a new curriculum which focuses on developing foundational competencies and has financial literacy as a mandatory element woven throughout the curriculum
- strengthening education for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students
- improving student assessment and how progress is reported to parents
We are also working to improve the education system overall. For our students to receive a modern education that gives them the tools to be successful, our system must also be updated so it functions at the highest level possible and supports the wide variety of choice Albertans expect.
This includes the laws and regulations that govern the system and how the province funds K to 12 education. We must continue to push as many dollars as possible to the classroom where they have the greatest benefit to students.
Actions we are taking or have taken to build excellence in the education system include:
- introducing a new funding model that reduces red tape, provides flexibility to school authorities, and drives dollars to the classroom
- reducing paperwork burdens on teachers, principals and other school staff
- introduced the Choice in Education Act, which came into force September 1, 2020
- amended and brought into force the Education Act, which came into force September 1, 2019
We can’t accomplish this work without the strong support of our education partners. Thank you to our partners for being a part of these important initiatives.
I am proud of the work we are doing together to make life better for Alberta’s students and their families, and I look forward to continuing our work together.