While the principles from the base upon which the education system is placed, a more precise set of goals is required to define the specific areas that are addressed by the public education system.
The goals of public education are to enable the student to:
- develop an appreciation for learning, an intellectual curiosity, and a desire for lifelong learning;
- develop the ability to think critically, apply knowledge, and make informed decisions;
- acquire the basic knowledge and skills necessary to comprehend and express ideas through the use of words, numbers, and other symbols;
- develop an understanding of the natural world and of the applications of science and technology in society;
- acquire knowledge about the past and an orientation to the future;
- develop an appreciation for one’s heritage and a respect for the culture and traditions of others;
- develop a sense of self-worth;
- develop a respect for community values, a sense of personal values, and a responsibility for one’s actions;
- develop a sense of pride and respect of one’s community, province, and country;
- develop a sense of stewardship for the environment;
- develop creative skills, including those in the arts, and an appreciation of creativity in others;
- develop skills and attitudes related to the workplace;
- develop good mental and physical health and the ability to creatively use leisure time;
- acquire knowledge of the second official language and an understanding of the bilingual nature of the country;
- develop an understanding of gender equity issues and of the need to provide equal opportunities for all; and,
- develop an understanding of fundamental human rights and an appreciation for the worth of all individuals.
Although the family and the community have important roles to play in public education, the school’s curriculum is of prime importance in addressing the goals. The curriculum may be defined as all the experiences, formal and informal, which the student encounters under the guidance of the school. The present document, Program of Studies and List of Authorized Materials, outlines the formal part of the school’s program.
While these are formidable goals for the public education system to undertake, it is important to reiterate that the responsibility for addressing these goals is a shared one. Only with the support and active participation of the family and other segments of the community will it be possible for the public education system to fulfill its mandate.