The provincial government says its updated education curriculum will return to proven teaching methods with a focus on literacy, numeracy and outcomes students need to succeed in life.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says the new curriculum will emphasize core knowledge and civic virtues, with evidence and fact-based materials.

She adds the UCP is repealing the 2013 ministerial order from the former NDP government which was based on “discovery” and “inquiry” learning.

LaGrange says “we heard that very strongly from parents, that was the view of parents while we were out campaigning so we’re absolutely addressing that and ensuring the focus is on literacy and numeracy and so much more.”

COVID-19 related delays have affected the timelines for piloting the new curriculum so the draft K-6 curriculum will be piloted in select classrooms starting in September 2021 while the Grades 7-10 draft curriculum will begin classroom validation at participating schools the following year.

The NDP’s Education Critic had strong words for LaGrange following Thursday’s press conference, saying the K-12 curriculum announcement was an obvious attempt to distract people from the number one pressing issue in the province which is keeping kids safe when they return to school.

She says touting a new curriculum for the fall of 2021 is not what LaGrange should be focused on right now when “there are teachers across this province trying to figure out how they set up their classroom with physical distancing and there physically isn’t enough space. There are teachers trying to figure out how they’re going to clean all of the manipulatives students use throughout the day because they don’t have educational assistants because this minister fired 20,000 of them at the beginning of the pandemic and many of them have not been hired back.”

Hoffman says LaGrange is trying pretend that everything is fine when it comes to school safety, when it’s not.

She says the Education Minister has had since schools closed in March to come up with a suitable plan for re-entry this fall and she’s failed and should be replaced.

When asked who she thought would be a better fit as Education Minister, Hoffman replied “I think at this point, probably anyone would do a better job than this minister and I don’t say that lightly.”