Quebec unveils curriculum reform to replace former Ethics and Religious Culture program
MONTREAL -- Quebec unveiled an overhaul to its curriculum Sunday with a new program promising "a better understanding of our culture," according to the education minister.
The new program called "Culture and Citizenship in Quebec" will replace the former Ethics and Religious Culture program, also known as ERC.
Education Minister Jean-François Roberge announced the change Sunday, adding that a pilot project would roll out in classrooms across the province at the start of the 2022 school year. The program will be taught province-wide by 2023.
We have a Quebec way of life. We have our artists, francophone and anglophone. We have our cultural legacy and that’s the culture here in Quebec. We are not ashamed to share this culture with our kids," said Roberge.
The new program is built on three main aspects: "culture," "citizenship in Quebec," and "dialogue and critical thinking."
The "culture" componant will "highlight Quebec culture, which defines our society."
"This will allow students to grasp the culture in which they operate," read a Sunday press release, "and understand that each society is influenced by a different cultural context."
"Quebec citizenship," the second componant, aims to teach students about civic life and media literacy. It will also cover "fundamental principles" like "self respect, freedom of expression and concience, equality and secularism."
In the third componant, "dialogue and critical thinking," students "will be asked to question themselves and tackle moral dilemmas," read the announcement, "to examine cultural, religious, scientific and social references."
But not everyone thinks this change is the right approach.
Westmount High School teacher Dr. Sabrina Jafralie says fewer discussions about religion's influence "is a gross mistake."
"We have to acknowledge that religion is part of people's identity, whether you're religious or not," said Jafralie, who teachers the Culture and Quebec Citizenship program.
She questioned whether the revision is just a political strategy by the CAQ government.
"For me, this signals a political puppet play."
LISTEN ON CJAD 800 RADIO: Quebec wants to teach "critical thinking"...what is that? Political analyst Tom Mulcair weighs in