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Education

NWT expects to start using BC curriculum in 2023-24


The Northwest Territories says its transition to British Columbia’s JK-12 school curriculum will be gradual and won’t start until the 2023-24 academic year.

The territory announced in December it would move away from Alberta’s curriculum to one designed in BC. The NWT had been unnerved by Alberta’s recently updated curriculum, a document panned by experts and developed without territorial input.

In the legislature this week, education minister RJ Simpson said the switch would be “slow enough so that everyone is well aware of what’s happening [and] teachers have an appropriate amount of time to become familiar with the new curriculum.”

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John MacDonald, deputy minister of education, said there would be no sudden transition. Schools will continue to use their existing curriculum for the time being.

“Currently, we’re targeting the 2023-24 school year as the year where we would begin to introduce a phased-in approach, starting in the early years,” MacDonald said in response to questions from Deh Cho MLA Ron Bonnetrouge.

“Within the next few weeks, we’ll be reaching out to partners so we can begin to discuss everybody’s needs and their level of interest in participating in some of the planning.”

In April last year, education officials presenting an update to NWT MLAs said the BC curriculum was easily the best fit for the territory across four key criteria.

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“It is one of the best curriculums in the world,” Simpson told Bonnetrouge in the legislature this week.

“I’m excited that we get to go down this path.”

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