Ontario likely to see non-tech teachers in new mandatory tech education classes

Stephen Lecce. Image credit Twitter handle of Stephen Lecce

Ottawa/CMEDIA: Ontario reportedly likely to see non-tech teachers in new mandatory tech education classes according to Ontario’s new proposal to allow teachers without technological credentials to teach certain tech courses for the next school year.

It was suggested by both teachers and principals that this new proposal indicates the province’s ill-preparedness for the new mandatory nature of those classes

Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s announcement last year mandated that all the high school students from September 2024 to take a course on technology and the skilled trades in Grade 9 or 10 in order to graduate.

But the government is now exploring options to allow principals to assign teachers with general education qualifications, without tech qualifications, to teach those courses for the next year.

Ontario Principals Council president Ralph Nigro was reported saying that before adding in new mandatory requirements for students to take those courses, the present shortage of teachers, let alone a shortage of tech-specific teachers, should have been looked into.

“The introduction of the courses is something that we are generally very supportive of, but I think there needed to be some other steps taken before they were rolled out, like creating additional spots in teacher education programs for tech teachers,” Nigro said in an interview.

“It appears that that didn’t happen and when you factor in … teacher shortages for a number of years, we’re very worried about having enough people in place.”

Isha Chaudhuri, a spokesperson for Lecce said action to recruit and retain qualified educators across Ontario has been taken by the government.

“We have enabled school boards to hire more skilled trades professionals with hands-on experience, along with ensuring introductory courses can be taught by more educators in schools,”  wrote in a statement.

“By doing so, students will learn through Ontario’s modernized curriculum that emphasizes life skills, STEM, skilled trades and back-to-basics education.”