Students demand politicians to reform the Ontario Civics and Careers Program

TORONTO, Dec. 8 /CNW/ - The Ontario Student Trustees' Association - l'Association des élèves conseillers et conseillères de l'Ontario (OSTA-AECO) has today called for Members of Provincial Parliament to reform the Ontario Civics and Careers program. At a press conference held at Queen's Park, the student organization presented their report titled "Inspiring Citizenship," a research paper critiquing the mandatory high school course.

"Today's courses are failing to prepare the citizens of tomorrow," said association President Gorick Ng, "We are ready to take the next step and bring our concerns to the lawmakers of our province."

The "Inspiring Citizenship" report targets flaws in the program's content and delivery. Research shows that the course continues to suffer from student apathy and biased pass-fail rates; students either ace the courses or fail them. In a survey initiated by the organization, 74 per cent of Ontario students consider the courses of low importance, "a waste of time".

"We must ensure that all students have knowledge and skills they need to succeed beyond high school. Ontario students deserve no less."

In the presence of MPPs, OSTA-AECO pressed that the declining interest in civics and careers poses a risk to the participation of future voters and youth's connection to politics.

OSTA-AECO defined a program merging the courses into a single, semester-long course entitled "Citizenship". The course would boast community involvement, passionate teachers from relevant backgrounds and a more structured curriculum. It would take a more practical, hands-on approach to learning. The vision gained the approval of partner organizations such as the Ontario Teachers' Federation, Student Vote and the Civics Education Network during the press conference.

As the largest student stakeholder group in the province, OSTA-AECO represents the over 2 million students in the Ontario education system. Student trustees are youth representatives elected by their peers to bring the student voice to school board tables across the province. Please visit www.osta-aeco.org for further information about the association and the student trustee position. "Inspiring Citizenship" can be found at http://www.osta-aeco.org/Reports/2009/Inspiring_Citizenship.pdf.

SOURCE Ontario Student Trustees' Association

For further information: For further information: Patrick Quinton-Brown, Director of Communications, director.communications@osta-aeco.org, (905) 441-8876, http://www.osta-aeco.org

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Ontario Student Trustees' Association

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