Coding and financial literacy will now be required learning for elementary school students in Ontario.
The new curriculum, announced by the Ontario government on Tuesday, was created with help from parents, math educators, academics and math education experts over the course of two years.
It is “designed to reverse a decade of declining math scores,” according to a statement issued by the government. It will go into effect this September, for grades 1-8.
“I made a promise to parents that we would fix the broken education system we inherited, get back to basics, and teach our children the math fundamentals they need for lifelong success,” said Premier Doug Ford, Ontario’s head of government, in a statement.
The Canadian province’s math curriculum was last updated in 2005. By including skills like coding and financial literacy, it will promote “critical skills that will help our students prepare for and succeed in the modern world and in the modern workforce,” Ford said.
The specifics of the plan have already been outlined. By the end of Grade 1, students will know the basics of coding and financial literacy – things like how to read and alter coding and the value of the Canadian currency.
The new curriculum will also focus on connecting math to everyday life and focus on math concepts and skills like learning and recalling number facts, according to the statement.
The roll out is part of a new four-year CA$200-million math plan, announced in 2019. In addition to an upgraded curriculum, the new plan will give funding to school board to hire math-learning leads, expand online tutoring programs and deliver CA$6 million in support for summer learning programs.
In data that analyzed math assessment scores of 15-year-olds from 2012, Canada is in the top 10. Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Netherlands and Estonia make up the top five, according to the National Science Foundation.
Meanwhile the US was ranked as 27th, falling below average.