The Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) announced a new online tracker this week to demonstrate its progress on improving student outcomes in the NWT.

This work stems from the government’s commitment to raise junior kindergarten to Grade 12 student educational outcomes to the same level as the rest of Canada, ECE said March 30 in a news release.

To meet this pledge and respond to the mid-term findings of the evaluation of Education Renewal and Innovation (ERI) and the 2020 report of the Office of the Auditor General, ECE has developed an Action Plan to Improve JK-12 Student Outcomes.

30 action items

The public can now access deliverables, timelines and progress for each of the 30 action items available on the action tracker. The Action Plan to Improve JK-12 Student Outcomes groups these actions by seven themes:

  • Quality early learning and child care
  • Development and capacity building
  • Curriculum and student assessment
  • Student supports
  • Training, developing and support for school employees
  • Governance
  • Monitoring and evaluation

The site shows three of these projects have been completed, to date:

  1. Development of a Certificate of Indigenous Language Revitalization (CILR) program that delivers a two-year pilot program at Aurora College in partnership with the University of Victoria and regional Indigenous governments;
  2. Common job descriptions for JK-12 support assistants; and a
  3. Five-year review of the Education Renewal and Innovation program.

The other 27 items are classified as “on track.”

Key education items

Two of the most important items, according to the government’s news release, are the ongoing work to modernize the Education Act and update the JK-12 curriculum.

“How we deliver equitable education in the NWT is critical for ensuring the development of accomplished, capable Northerners,” said Education Minister R.J. Simpson. “The GNWT is committed to improving the NWT education system, in partnership with education bodies, Indigenous governments, communities, educators, families and students, who all have a role to play in improving educational outcomes.”

Public feedback on the project runs from now until June. Engagement on the JK-12 curriculum renewal is set to begin over the coming months with Indigenous governments, education stakeholders and the public.

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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