Tue, Jul 26, 2016 – Letter from: Rob Fleming – MLA – Opposition Spokesperson for Education
“The Christy Clark government has a history of making big promises to parents, kids and our school system in British Columbia, but not backing up those promises with the resources needed to become a reality.
Last January, the Premier made a splashy announcement about mandatory computer coding in every B.C. classroom by September. A laudable initiative, but with few details or a plan behind it. And no specific resources for implementation of the coding curriculum.
Only in June, after the BC School Trustees Association demanded provincial support, did the government respond with some funding to school districts – less than $4 per kid for schools to purchase equipment for coding instruction.
Through Freedom of Information, we discovered a survey that the Ministry of Education sent to school districts to assess classroom readiness for implementing the coding curriculum. The results show that up to 70% of districts expect significant problems implementing changes by the start of the school year.
Recently my colleague, MLA Jodie Wickens, and I questioned the Minister of Education in the legislature on his failure to properly support the implementation of the coding curriculum in BC’s public schools. You can watch my questions here, and Jodie’s here.
It is no surprise that the Minister of Education is trying to downplay the fact that school districts are unprepared to implement the new coding curriculum. He is the Minister who said that “students don’t need computers to learn coding.”
The Christy Clark government has to understand that students and parents need more than photo ops and empty promises if schools are going to succeed in teaching important subjects like computer coding in the new school curriculum.”