Ontario’s Minister of Education Lisa Thompson has confirmed that a cellphone ban in the classroom except for educational purposes will be part of the government’s vision for ‘Education that Works for You’.

Unveiled in Toronto Friday morning, the plan also calls for a ‘back-to-basics’ math curriculum and a renewed focus on skilled trades.

In her announcement, the Minister said, “This is our plan to protect a sustainable world-class education system for the students of today and the future.”

“We will make sure our students are leaving school with the skills they need to build good lives, families, and careers right here in Ontario while ensuring the system is both fiscally sustainable and respectful of parents.”

In a statement, the Ontario government says the new vision will modernize Ontario’s classrooms and provide students with more learning opportunities including:

  • Modernizing classrooms by expanding broadband
  • Modernizing the approach to assessment and evaluation
  • Introducing changes to education funding that keep resources focused on students in the classroom.
  • Supporting teacher mobility, greater transparency, fairness, consistency, and accountability to school board hiring practices of teachers.
  • Maintaining class sizes for Kindergarten to Grade 3 and establishing a consistent approach to class sizes for grades 4 to 8

The plan also calls for a new math curriculum that will focus on math fundamentals for all grades, a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (Stem), skilled trades, financial literacy, and what the government calls “a modern and age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that will keep students safe”.

The Ontario government reports it held the largest public consultation on education in the province’s history.

It says the consultation included more than 72,000 engagements across three different consultation channels, which included an open submission form, online survey and telephone town halls held in every region of the province.

The Minister concluded her announcement by saying, “Together we will build on a system that creates and attracts the best talent, that builds careers, promotes well-being, and leaves every student prepared for their future.”