Monday, 27 March 2017


By Natasha Riebe, CBC News, March 21, 2017

The province will seek changes to a new course called "women studies" at a rural Alberta school, which covers topics such as hairstyles, dinner parties, recipes and interior decor. Following some public criticism about the course, Education Minister David Eggen said Tuesday that officials from his office are contacting the school board that oversees the Eleanor Hall School in Clyde. The school launched the course in February for girls in grades 6-9.

In an emailed statement to CBC, Eggen said gender equality is a priority for the Alberta NDP government. "I understand the concerns being raised about the content of this course. Alberta Education and representatives from my office are in contact with the school board and will be seeking changes to this course immediately," said Eggen in the statement (. . . )

David Garbutt, acting superintendent of Pembina Hills Public Schools, said the ( . .  ) course title likely wasn't appropriate, since it did not accurately represent what the curriculum aims to do, he said. "The goal here, the real aim, is to help students navigate adolescence and keep their self-image and self-esteem intact," Garbutt told CBC's Edmonton AM. The curriculum is meant to give students a "taste of cosmetology, some of our technology and media studies that are available later, community care, food and esthetics," he added. "We're going to have the kids critically think about, you know, the expectations and media influences that teens face," Garbutt said.

Alison Poste, an organizer of the Women's March in Edmonton earlier this year, said she finds the course baffling. "It just feels very 1950s," she said, adding she wondered why there wasn't an etiquette class for boys ( . . . ) An organizer of the Women's March in Edmonton, Alison Poste, thinks girls should be learning about career opportunities ( . . . )

(posted to PAR-L by Louise Dulude)