1970 Douglas College opens in New Westminster in September. Vancouver Community College's Langara campus opens in October and becomes the nexus of Langara College (1994).


1971 The Department of Education is reorganized, effective 1 January 1971, with significant structural changes. The position of Superintendent of Education is eliminated, and the superintendent's statutory duties are transferred to the Deputy Minister of Education.

Camosun College, in Victoria, opens.

The Council of Public Instruction [CPI] is abolished (2 April) by an amendment to the Public School Act.

French immersion programmes are established in select elementary schools.


1972 Provincial Education Media Centre [PEMC] is established.

The New Democratic Party, led by Dave Barrett, wins the provincial election on 30 August. Eileen Elizabeth Dailly, MLA for Burnaby North and a former school teacher, is sworn in as Minister of Education on 15 September.


1973 15 February: corporal punishment ("the strap") is abolished by an amendment to the Public School Act.

June: departmental exams [i.e. province-wide Grade 12 graduation exams] are discontinued. The exams will be reinstated in 1984.

September: All school districts are required to make provinsions for Kindergartens.

Provincial British Columbia's first bilingual school, l'Ecole Bilingue, and the province's first wilderness education programme, BC Quest, are established by the Vancouver School Board.

1974 British Columbia Institute of Technology [BCIT] establishes a department of distance education, offering courses in forestry, business, health and engineering.

An amendment to the Universities Act establishes a Universities Council to advise the government and act as an intermediary between the government and provincial universities, and among the universities themselves.

September: Fraser Valley College opens.


1975 School District No. 92 (Nisgha) is created on 1 January 1975. It is the first aboriginal school district in the province.

Northwest Community College is established at the site of the British Columbia Vocational Institute in Terrace, B. C. Northern Lights College is opened at the BC Vocational Institute in Dawson Creek.

May: North Island College is established with offices in Courtenay and Campbell River, with a mandate to provide "distance education" for post-secondary students on the northern half of Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia.  When it was established, North Island was the only non-campus based community college in Canada.

The Social Credit Party, led by W. R. Bennett, wins the provincial election. Dr. Patrick McGeer is appointed Minister of Education on 22 December.


1976 The Department of Education is restyled Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education becomes responsible for the province's Office of Metric Conversion.

1977 A "core curriculum" is established for provincial schools, from K - 12. The curriculum consists of three categories - "that which must be taught, that which should be taught, and that which may be taught." [106th Annual Report of the Public Schools, p. 10].

The School Support (Independent) Act provides per-pupil funding for private schools that had been in operation for at least five years. J. Phillipson, former deputy minister, is appointed the province's first Inspector of Independent Schools.


1978 The Colleges and Provincial Institutes Act regulates post-secondary institutions, apart from the province's three universities. Under the Act, three councils (modelled on the Universities Council) are created: the Academic Council, the Occupational Training Council, and the Management Advisory Council.

The Open Learning Institute is established (6 June) by order-in-council to co-ordinate the development and delivery of distance education in Adult Basic Education, career/technical/vocational programmes, and university credit courses.  OLI courses are developed in conjunction with Simon Fraser University, North Island College, and Athabasca University (Alberta).

Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design opens (replacing the Vancouver School of Applied and Decorative Arts [1925]).

The Justice Institute of British Columbia opens at Jericho Beach, Vancouver.

The British Columbia Vocational Institute at Burnaby and the Haney Educational Centre are amalgamated to form the Pacific Vocational Institute, a crown corporation with authority to operate autonomously from the provincial government.

The Ministry of Education is renamed Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.


1979 French language programmes (le programme - cadre de Francais) are made available in provincial elementary schools, "wherever demand warrants."

The Knowledge Network of the West Communications Authority is created by the provincial government, to facilitate distance education by means of satellite and cable TV. The Knowledge Network, as it is generally known, begins broadcasting in 1980.

November: a new ministry -- the Ministry of Universities, Science and Communications -- is established, with Dr. Patrick L. McGeer as minister. Brian R. D. Smith is appointed Minister of Education, responsible for K- 12 programmes.