Premier David Eby and the B.C. government committed to make Holocaust education mandatory for high school students in British Columbia at an event at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver.

“For our friends and neighbours in the Jewish community, this has been an incredibly frightening time. We have seen a rise in antisemitism in B.C. following the terrorist attacks in Israel, which evokes the history of persecution of Jews,” said Premier Eby. “Combatting this kind of hate begins with learning from the darkest parts of our history, so the same horrors are never repeated. That’s why we are working with the Jewish community to make sure learning about the Holocaust becomes a requirement for all high school students.”

While many students learn about the Holocaust, there is more work to do to ensure all students graduate with an understanding about this topic. According to a study commissioned by the Canadian charity Liberation75 last year, a third of North American students surveyed believe the Holocaust was either exaggerated or fabricated. Incidents of antisemitism have been on the rise across B.C. in recent years, including a surge in violent incidents.

The provincial government is committed to broadening the scope of the required Grade 10 social studies curriculum. This will ensure that when learning about discriminatory policies and injustices in Canada and around the world, all students in B.C. will also learn about the Holocaust.

The changes will take effect in the 2025-26 school year to allow for consultation and development with the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, the Jewish community and education partners.

Other additions to the Grade 10 social studies curriculum will also be considered to reflect the diversity and history of B.C. clearly. This includes more learning on topics such as the destruction of Hogan’s Alley, Japanese internment and discrimination against other culturally diverse groups such as Muslim, East-Asian, Black and South-Asian communities. Conversations with stakeholders will happen over the next year to ensure the provincial government is moving forward together with partners and communities.