Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut November 21, 2012 - 7:52 am

Nunavut high school graduate numbers up, but many Grade 12 students don’t make it

Fewer than 46 per cent enrolled in Grade 12 get diplomas

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
In 2011, Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit saw its largest number of students — 60 — celebrating their graduation, but a Department of Education report says fewer than one in two students who enroll in Grade 12 across Nunavut end up graduating. (FILE PHOTO)
In 2011, Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit saw its largest number of students — 60 — celebrating their graduation, but a Department of Education report says fewer than one in two students who enroll in Grade 12 across Nunavut end up graduating. (FILE PHOTO)

Fewer than 46 per cent of students who enroll in Grade 12 in Nunavut schools graduate, says a Government of Nunavut report on how many Nunavut students graduate from high school.

Of the Grade 12 students who graduated, 45 per cent came from the Kitikmeot region, 47 per cent from the Qikiqtani region and 45 per cent from the Kivalliq region.

The raw number of high school graduates did almost double between 2001 and 2009, according to the 2009-10 annual report of the Department of Education, tabled at the end of the Legislative Assembly’s last sitting.

In 2001, there were 290 Nunavut students enrolled in Grade 12, but only 117 or 40 per cent graduated, while in 2008-09, 465 were enrolled in Grade 12, but only 220 or 47 per cent graduated.

That’s an increase of seven percentage points or nearly 20 per cent from 2001 to 2009, but less than one in two who enrolled in Grade 12 actually finished.

On the plus side, since Nunavut’s creation, the report says the territory’s education system has expanded considerably.

“The education system in Nunavut has grown to include 43 schools in 26 communities, with 651 staff serving 9,038 kindergarten to Grade 12 students as of 2009 to 2010,” the report said.

Student enrollment within the system rose from 7,273 in 2000-01 to 9,038 in 2009-10.

In the report, the Department of Education cited many other “significant changes” from 1999 to 2009, including:

• introduction of multiple options programs for senior secondary students;

• the creation of the École des Trois Soleils in Iqaluit and the Commission Scolaire Francophone du Nunavut;

• increases in student support assistant positions, with this role integrated into the public service employees union;

• graduation of 21 students in master of education program;

• expansion of the education leadership program for principals and vice-principals; and,

• offering of the Nunavut teacher education program in 10 communities.

“We are committed to building on our successes, improving on our successes, improving capacity and making enhancements to those areas where we need to focus our efforts,” Eva Aariak, Nunavut’s premier, and also the territory’s minister of education, said in the report’s introduction.

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