Ontario high school students will need to take two online credits to graduate, according to the province.
Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, announced on Thursday that the government is taking steps to “increase student access to high quality public education and turn Ontario into a global leader of modern and digital education.”
The provincial government said that while online courses will be a mandatory graduation requirement, exemptions will be made for some students on an individual basis.
Students that graduate in the 2023-2024 school year will be the first cohort that is required to complete online courses.
According to the Ford government, the online courses will begin counting toward students’ graduation requirements beginning in September 2020.
“The world is changing rapidly, and our students need the ability to learn and thrive in a world increasingly disrupted by technology,” said Lecce.
“To succeed in this environment, it is important students graduate with the skills and technological fluency they need in a competitive global labour market. This plan will provide more course offerings — including STEM courses — that will benefit students well beyond the classroom.”
The province said that more students are choosing online learning each year, with about 60,000 students taking an online learning course in the 2017-18 school year.
“Students and educators in all publicly funded secondary schools will have access to reliable, fast, secure and affordable internet services at school, in all regions of the province by September 2020,” said the province.
As well, they added that many courses will be designed to not require connectivity to complete the course material.