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Ontario adding mandatory Black history learning to Grades 7, 8 and 10 history courses

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce waits for his introduction before speaking to the media at an Etobicoke library, in Toronto, Sunday, April 16, 2023. Lecce says that the province is introducing mandatory learning on the contributions of Black Canadians to history courses in Grades 7, 8 and 10. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young. chy

Ontario’s education minister says that the province is introducing mandatory learning on the contributions of Black Canadians to history courses in Grades 7, 8 and 10.

Stephen Lecce says Black history is Canadian history and adding it as a mandatory part of the curriculum will ensure the next generation will better appreciate the sacrifices and commitments Black Canadians have made.

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The province is launching consultations with historians, educators and the Black community to develop the curriculum additions, set to roll out in September 2025.

Patrice Barnes, the parliamentary assistant to the education minister, spearheaded the curriculum change and says she wants it to deepen students’ understanding of the country’s diverse and vibrant heritage.

Lecce has also recently announced a new “back to basics” kindergarten curriculum, new mandatory secondary school learning about the Holodomor famine and expanded teachings about the Holocaust.

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As well, the government has introduced new math, language and science and technology curricula.

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