Grande Prairie was one of several cities across Alberta to see a protest asking the province to “Ditch the Draft”.
Approximately 50 people turned up at city hall on Saturday, many with signs urging Education Minister Adrianna LaGrange to listen to what they call the majority of Albertans who believe the proposed curriculum for K-6 students is simply not good enough.
Local protest organizer and Grande Prairie Public School Division substitute teacher Andrea Willman says from her perspective, teachers still largely remain in the dark as to what changes made to the curriculum will look like on a practical level, despite sections of the education plan already being piloted.
“The pilot ended in February, so it’s not a whole year’s worth of information,” “They were able to choose pieces of Math, Languages Arts, and pieces of P.E to pilot, but we don’t know which pieces, we don’t know what resources have been done, nothing is transparent,” she says.
“They did pull back on the languages, social studies, and science, but they haven’t told us what they’re doing behind the scenes to make it better, they just delayed the rollout.”
Willman says for the pieces that are left, such as K-6 Physical Education and Wellness, the normal curriculum gets rolled out from Kindergarten up so the kids who go through it, grow with it. She says parachuting kids into the middle of a new curriculum without any of the missing workload is detrimental to their growth.
“For my daughter in grade 6 next year, PE and Wellness are written as though she had K-5 of their curriculum already, and she hasn’t. So that’s like showing up to a fourth-year university course without the prerequisites,” she adds.
Concerns over the subject matters of the proposed K-6 curriculum, including age appropriateness of the teachings, as well as a lack of teaching of Indigenous culture for younger grades.
Similar protests were held in the City of Calgary and the City of Edmonton on Saturday afternoon.