Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean encouraged Inuit youth to dream big in an effort to reduce sky-high dropout rates at the first-ever Inuit education summit in Inuvik.
Policy-makers from across the country converged on Inuvik to discuss possible solutions to education problems, such as half-empty classrooms. The National Inuit Education Summit was organized by a partnership between the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation (CMSF) and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
Only about half of Inuit people complete high school, according to the CMSF. The Foundation called this an education gap, noting that “the Inuit population is growing rapidly, with 57 per cent under the age of 25, while the Arctic region is experiencing a heightened level of economic
growth and political development that is outpacing the availability of skilled and educated labour.”
Jean agrees with at least one proposed solution — that parents must get involved in their children’s education and encourage them to dream.
Inuit national leader Mary Simon says the devastating legacy of residential schools has left many parents either indifferent or suspicious of the education system. Simon says too few parents monitor their children’s progress, check up on their homework, or even insist that their kids go to school in the morning.
-with a report from CP