Math Curriculum, Renewed Focus on Skilled Trades and Cellphone Ban in the Classroom
Toronto, ON — Students and parents in Ontario can look forward to stronger math, STEM, and
financial literacy curricula, a provincewide ban on cellphones in the classroom and improved
skilled trades opportunities, as part of the Government of Ontario's new vision for ‘Education
that Works for You.’
The previous government left us an outdated system that did not prepare our students for the
realities of today," said Logan Kanapathi, MPP for Markham-Thornhill. " We are going to be
investing in education and students in a way that is focused on student achievement and well-
“A modernized education system that returns to the basics, with a renewed focus on math
fundamentals and STEM in the classroom, and greater emphasis on skills training and financial
literacy, will ensure we set up our young people to succeed and compete in a modern
economy,” said Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan.
The government plan, Education that Works for You, will protect a sustainable world-class
education system for the students of today and the future and modernize the province’s
classrooms and curriculum.
The province will ensure students are leaving school with the skills they need to build good
lives, families and careers right here in Ontario while ensuring our education system is both
fiscally sustainable and respectful of parents.
“Our Government has been clear from the beginning that we are listening to parents and
consulting with our education partners to modernize and improve Ontario’s education system
from kindergarten to Grade 12 said Paul Calandra, MPP for Markham-Stouffville. “We
welcome conversation with any stakeholder who wants to work with us in good faith to ensure
our plan always puts students first and remains fair to our educators.”
Shortly after we came to office we did what the previous government had been afraid to do –
and threw the doors open to real, meaningful public and parental input into our education
system, said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education. We heard from more than 72,000 parents,
teachers, students, employers and organizations making this the largest consultation of its kind
in Ontario history. The people told us what wasn’t working and what we need to protect.;
The new vision will modernize Ontario's classrooms and provide students with more learning
opportunities to prepare them for success in post-secondary education, apprenticeship and
training, and the workforce.
The plan would include:
Modernizing classrooms by expanding broadband, developing a new policy that will ban
the use of cellphones during class except for educational purposes and modernizing the
approach to assessment and evaluation with a renewed focus on equity across the
Introducing changes to education funding that keep resources focused on students in
Supporting teacher mobility and bringing greater transparency, fairness, consistency and
accountability to school board hiring practices of teachers.
Maintaining class sizes for Kindergarten to Grade 3, establishing a consistent approach
to class sizes for grades 4 to 8 and aligning secondary class sizes more closely with
other Canadian jurisdictions, while introducing a new approach to e-learning and
reducing pressure on school boards to put students in portables and split classes.
We’re also undertaking curriculum reform that will include:
A new math curriculum that will focus on math fundamentals for all grades;
A renewed focus on STEM, skilled trades and financial literacy; and
A modern and age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that will keep
There will be clear provisions for parents who wish to exempt their child or children from sexual
health education, and online modules will be available for parents who want to discuss sexual
health topics at home whenever they feel their child is ready.
“After holding the largest public consultation on education I am pleased with Minister
Thompson’s announcement,” said Daisy Wai, MPP for Richmond Hill. “With a focus on Math
and Financial Literacy, it ensures students are leaving school with the skills they need to build
good lives, families and careers. An age-appropriate Health and Physical Education Curriculum
will keep students safe while respectful of parents. A ban on cellphones in the classroom will
help students to focus at school.”
“Ontario’s education system from K-12 has been failing our students for far too long,” said Billy
Pang, MPP for Markham-Unionville. “In order to retain and grow the prosperity of our province,
the education of our children must be enhanced. The announcement made by our Minister of
Education, the Hon. Lisa Thompson, provides educators and students the tools for success”.
The government is committed to discussing the key elements of the proposed plan, including
hiring practices and class sizes, through a consultation process that allows partners to provide
the benefit of their expertise, experience and ideas.
Ontario’s Government for the People held the largest public consultation on education in the
province’s history. The consultation included more than 72,000 engagements across three
different consultation channels, which included an open submission form, online survey and
telephone town halls held in every region of the province.
Together we will build on a system that supports careers, promotes well-being and prepares
every student for the future, said Thompson.