Ophea and OASPHE’s Position on Education Reform
The Government of Ontario is currently hosting public consultations on a number of key educational components, including the content of the Health and Physical Education curriculum, approaches to health-related topics in the classroom, parent engagement, and physical activity policy. As part of the provincial consultation process educators, parents, students, and stakeholders are invited to provide feedback until December 15, 2018. We strongly encourage everyone to participate in the single largest consultation on the single largest health promotion intervention this province has ever seen. Ophea and OASPHE have responded through the Government of Ontario’s consultation process and felt that releasing our position may support others in their participation of the consultation process We invite those seeking language to help articulate their perspective to reference the evidence-informed responses, should they wish. These responses are only reflective of the health-related questions of the open submission and the online survey.
Ophea and OASPHE Reaction Statement to Repealed “sex-ed” Curriculum
On July 11, 2018 Ontario’s Premier and Minister of Education announced that the sexual health education “sex-ed” component of the Health and Physical Education (H&PE) curriculum would revert back to the 1998 version until additional parent consultations have been conducted.
Ophea and OASPHE (Ontario Association for the Support of Physical and Health Educators) are disappointed with the announcement by the government of Ontario and believe that Ontario students have a right to learn from an up-to-date, research-based Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes human development and sexual health (“sex-ed”) education.
Ophea and OASPHE believe that the 20 year old “sex-ed” expectations from 1998 will not meet the needs of students in 2018.
In response, Ophea will ensure our existing Human Development and Sexual Health teaching supports (part of the H&PE Elementary Curriculum Resources and H&PE Secondary Resources as well as other topic specific resources available on Teaching Tools), will remain available to all schools, school boards and public health units in Ontario. In addition, Ophea will provide specific documentation that maps our teaching supports to the 1998 Human Growth and Development expectations to ensure educators are supported when they return to classrooms in September.
Indigenous Education: Truth and Reconciliation Curriculum Writing Sessions
Ophea and OASPHE Position Statement: Human Development and Sexual Health
As part of its Plan for Ontario, the Ontario PC party has made a broad commitment to review the Human Development and Sexual Health (“sex-ed”) component of the Health and Physical Education (H&PE) curriculum after additional consultations with parents. Ophea and OASPHE anticipate that this government will take steps to address this commitment.
As such Ophea and OASPHE, as joint provincial subject associations for H&PE, have developed a Position Statement which outlines recommendations for government to consider moving forward.
Ophea and OASPHE continue to believe that students have a right to learn from an up-to-date, research-based Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes human development and sexual health education.
Student’s Right to Physical Activity
Ophea, along with national and provincial partners including PHE Canada, Ever Active Schools, and Dash BC, has developed an evidence-informed statement that all students have a right to physical activity. This statement aims to further the key messages contained in the 2018 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.
Understanding Parental Attitudes Towards Health in Ontario Schools
In Fall 2017, Ophea surveyed parents of Ontario school-aged children to better understand their perspectives on pressing health issues, Health and Physical Education (H&PE), healthy schools, physical activity, and safety.
The survey results found that parents believe that Ontario schools have an important role to play in supporting the health and well-being of their children, but have concerns about how equipped kids are to meet 21st century health challenges.
Ophea encourages all stakeholders to freely use this information to support their future planning efforts as it relates to their work.
Ophea’s Advocacy Goal
To advocate for policies and strategies that foster healthy, active living.
Ophea is committed to working in partnership with government, non-government, and community partners to advocate for healthy public policy related to Health and Physical Education (H&PE) in schools and healthy, active living in communities. We are also committed to playing a strong leadership role on related committees and at stakeholder events.