Vancouver trustees call on educators to bring Chinese reconciliation to schools
A Vancouver school trustee wants the B.C. government to include subjects on the Chinese reconciliation in the Grade 10-12 curriculum.
A Vancouver school trustee wants the B.C. government to include in its expected Grade 10-12 curriculum review a segment dedicated to Chinese reconciliation.
Trustee Ken Denike’s call comes shortly after the BC NDP published a book of what it identified as racist B.C. legislation in the past. It wants the book introduced to provincial schools.
“We need people in the education system, including trustees, to make it known this is something that’s important in terms of not just the history of the Chinese, but also the history of B.C.,” he said.
Denike’s colleague, trustee Sophia Woo, is filing a motion at the Vancouver School Board that would request local universities, the Chinese community and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation to help lead the efforts.
B.C. Ministry of Education spokesman Ben Green said the province is expected to develop a new Grade 10-12 curriculum model this spring. The draft is scheduled to be published in the summer, he said, after which the public is invited to give feedback.
Green said the changes are expected to give teachers more freedom to choose what’s taught in classrooms.
Currently, he said, teachers are presented a variety of suggested topics that include segments on the Chinese head tax, railway workers, and other social injustices such as the segregation of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War.
Those topics are expected to remain in the curriculum.
“There (will be) a lot more flexibility in how a teacher may present topics, or what topics a teacher may speak on in order to guide the curriculum,” he said.