Dropping out for oil

Only two-thirds of Alberta high-school students graduate—lowest in Canada


The lure of a booming oil industry has caused a small exodus of high-school students to drop out before graduating, the Globe and Mail reported above the fold today.

Using Statcan data on public-education enrolment released yesterday, the Globe found that 67.9 per cent of young Albertans graduate high school, lower than any other jurisdiction aside from Canada’s territories. That number is four per cent higher than in 1999.

Alberta education spokesperson Kathy Telfer told the paper that a more accurate graduation rate looks at dropouts who return to school several years down the road. That number included, the total graduation rate is closer to 80 per cent, she said.

The Globe’s Michael Valpy juxtaposes the Alberta experience with that of the Maritimes. When the formerly booming fishing industry was at its peak, more kids left school. The boom has since shifted out west. Meanwhile, in Atlantic Canada, participation rates in university and college remain among the highest in Canada, and the region also graduates the highest proportion of high-school students in the country (along with Saskatchewan). Newfoundland, however, experienced a 20-per-cent drop in enrolment between 1999 and 2006.


Dropping out for oil

  1. I think that the focus on oil as the key factor to drop out rates in Alberta is just another way to point you’re finger and blame. What people should really be pay attention to is the pressure diffrences on graduating. This varies from province to province but the pressure is most notable in wastern Canada, this is most likley due to the job locations and possibilities in the East. In order to bosst graduation rates in the West cities will have to begin to grow and metropolise (might not be a word) and increase the amount of white collar oppertunities. However, this is only one 18 year old’s opinion on this subject.