BCTF President Jim Iker, along with representatives of all the education partner groups, participated in a news conference in Victoria with Education Minister Mike Bernier to announce a collaborative plan for curriculum change implementation. The BCTF has been advocating for the time and resources needed to ensure teachers are well supported as the new curriculum is implemented.
Following several weeks of frank and collaborative conversations with senior staff of the Ministry of Education, the Federation was able to reach agreement on government investment of time and money into a curriculum implementation plan that involves teachers and locals in a meaningful way. Details of the announcement include:
• Two days of in-service this year, and two days over each of the next two years
• Collaboration between BCTF and Ministry to create framework for in-service
• $900,000 to release 2,000 teachers to plan the implementation days in their locals
• $100,000 to enable rural teachers to travel to in-service sessions
These in-service days are in addition to the existing professional development days. This announcement is an important first step in successfully rolling out the new curriculum, as teachers will get the time they need to meet, collaborate, and incorporate the changes into their professional practice.
One fundamental change in the new curriculum worth highlighting is that for many years, the BCTF has been strongly urging the inclusion of Aboriginal content and perspectives across all grade levels in BC’s curriculum. The BCTF is pleased that the BC government now agrees and has taken that to heart.
The BCTF once again extends its thanks to the more than 100 members who served on the redesign teams. Their deep expertise and hard work have resulted in creative and progressive curricular change that will benefit teachers and students in classrooms province-wide.
Going forward, the BCTF will continue to advocate for more funding to improve teachers' working conditions and students’ learning conditions. As well, the BCTF will be push for additional funding and new classroom resources to support implementation of the revised curriculum.