Kenney defends new draft curriculum during Facebook live session

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Premier Jason Kenney held a Facebook live session defending the changes his government is making to Alberta’s school curriculum.

On Monday, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange unveiled the draft K-6 curriculum which will focus on literacy, numeracy, practical skills and citizenship.

RELATEDNew K-6 curriculum to focus on literacy, numeracy, practical skills: LaGrange

The UCP ordered a rewrite of the curriculum and abandoned the draft proposals already created by the previous NDP government.

When asked why his government felt the need to scrap the old plans, Kenney said they were elected with a mandate to pause the NDP’s rewrite implying they wanted to teach about Canadian injustices out of context.

“There are some who would like to teach that Canada is basically a completely unjust or even legitimate settler state and that our entire history is one of injustice and genocide. I think that is a terribly distorted, ahistorical view of this amazing country we’ve built.”

Kenney did say that the previous draft curriculum did make improvements to math instruction which he added were in desperate need of an overhaul after being introduced by former PC governments.

Many Albertans have already criticized the new curriculum, saying it doesn’t appropriately teach about Indigenous issues and whitewashes Alberta’s history.

RELATED: ‘Teachers must be at the head of the table’: ATA wants voice in curriculum update

Kenney fired back on those criticisms saying the previous government’s review was flawed, and his government had to handle it themselves.

“They were doing it largely in secrecy, they would not release the names of the people involved in the rewrite. They said they were concerned for their safety. We were very transparent about the experts and advisers we engaged.”

The draft K-6 curriculum is currently online and receiving feedback until spring 2022. The UCP plan to test the curriculum in select schools this September in the hopes of a full rollout the following year.

During the same Facebook live event, Kenney quickly repeated his stance on Alberta separation saying it is a dangerous road to go down.

“We are not going to jeopardize jobs, the economy and pipelines because guess who owns the coastal pipeline, Trans Mountain? The government of Canada.”

Kenney added there will be a provincial referendum on equalization payments but not on Alberta independence.

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