After several months of uncertainty, the provincial government finally introduced a new version of the curriculum on sex education.
Last summer, the government of Prime Minister Doug Ford has replaced the educational program of the previous liberal government in 2015 for the program in 1998.
Teachers, parents and experts immediately spoke out against this decision, since the educational program, developed 20 years ago, did not include any mention of same-sex relations, social media, consent, and much else that is currently present in everyday life of children and adolescents.
Then, in the fall of 2018, the authorities have organised a huge public debate on education in the history of the province in which parents, students, teachers, employers and organizations have identified that should include the new curriculum.
As a result, 21 Aug 2019 new, streamlined curriculum for students from first to eighth grade, has finally been published.
Details of the curriculum can be found on the website (https://www.ontario.ca/document/health-and-physical-education-grades-1-8), where you can be sure that it includes such issues as mental health, concussion, Smoking electronic cigarettes and cannabis, cyber security, healthy eating and body image, and healthy relationships, including consent.
Although many of the topics present in the curriculum of 2015, some of them will now be taught at a later age — for example, teaching gender identity in the 8th grade instead of 6th.
“This upgrade will help children to be safe in the classroom and beyond,” said education Minister Stephen Lecce (Lecce Stephen) in a press release (https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2019/08/supporting-students—respecting-parents.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p).
The Ministry also announced that they will soon release the online resources for parents who want themselves to explain to their children a separate topic at home if necessary.
The new curriculum also provides parents the opportunity to withdraw their children from lessons in sex education. This item has already started to provoke disputes.