The British Columbia government is getting rid of the standard September-to-June school calendar, making way for year-round classes.
Education Minister George Abbott has prepared legislation that would scrap the standard school calendar by fall 2013, and would instead rely on local school districts to set their own schedules that meet a minimum number of teaching hours, reported CTV. Abbott said the long summer breaks in the traditional calendar are outdated, as children no longer need to help their families harvest crops in July and August.
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"Over the next year we will be moving away from what has for over 100 years been the standard school calendar," B.C. Abbott told the Toronto Star, adding that it is "modest" change to the province's School Act.
"While there are still obviously important agrarian elements in our society, some would say a 10-week break in the middle of summer may be for some parts of the province an anachronism. We do know that student learning is not aided by a long break in the summer," he said, according to CTV.
The legislation would also allow students from Kindergarten to Grade 9 to take courses either online or in the traditional format, which is something only students in Grades 10 to 12 can do now, reported the Canadian Press. Abbott also said the new calendar will put students at the center of their own education and will make them accountable for their successes.