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It’s Time to Move Forward.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 16:09

It’s time. The 2015 Health & Physical Education (H&PE) curriculum has been released

By: Chris Markham, Executive Director and CEO of Ophea (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association)

Education and health in Ontario have reached a new milestone. For five years, Ontario’s students have been using a curriculum that’s older than many students themselves. Released in the late ‘90s, the 16 year old curriculum is the most out of date curriculum in all of Canada – and it has had a very real impact on our kids. But on February 23, with the release of the revised 2015 H&PE elementary and secondary curriculum, the province has the opportunity to implement the single largest health promotion intervention that this province has ever seen. This is fantastic news.

When it comes to education and student’s well-being, Ontario has been a leader in policies such as Accepting Schools, Bullying Prevention, Mental Health and Addictions, Safe Schools, Equity and Inclusion. The H&PE curriculum supports and enhances these initiatives, providing a foundational tool to ensure that the 2.1 million children and youth in Ontario schools are learning the information they need to stay healthy and safe and developing the necessary skills to lead happy, active lives.

Ophea, as one of the subject associations for Health and Physical Education, is supportive of the release of the 2015 H&PE curriculum. It could not come soon enough.

We can all agree that we want our kids to grow up healthy, happy and safe. In today’s world, kids are growing up facing very different realities than when their parents where kids. They are experiencing unprecedented mental health challenges, physical inactivity is an epidemic, unhealthy eating is rampant, substance use and abuse are at record levels, and sexually transmitted infection rates have increased substantially.  Our kids desperately deserve an updated, research based, 21st century curriculum and we all owe it to them to not politicize this curriculum any further.

This curriculum is the most consulted on curriculum in Ontario history, involving parents, teachers, medical and health professionals, and students themselves.  93% of Ontario parents have asked for this update as have Ontario students.  It is our position that students have a right to receive the necessary educational opportunities to enable them to avoid preventable health problems.

It’s time to celebrate the fact that educators and educational partners now have one of the critical tools they need to ensure that students are receiving quality H&PE instruction. And may our kids’ futures be all the brighter and better for it.

For more information on the revised H&PE curriculum visit our Advocacy Page.