First Nations graduation rates climbing fast

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First Nations graduation rates climbing fast

First Nations students graduated at a rate of 61.6 per cent this year, up 45 per cent since 2001. This 2012 graduation ceremony for aboriginal students in Vancouver schools, above, was held at Templeton secondary school.

Photograph by: Les Bazso , Vancouver Sun

The number of B.C. students successfully completing Grade 12 is the highest it has ever been, with the most substantial increases among First Nations and special needs students, according to a report from the ministry of education.

The six-year completion rate for all students — the number of students who graduate within six years of registering for Grade 8 — topped 84 per cent in the 2013-14 school year, up about 10 per cent since 2001.

Part of that rise is fuelled by the big improvement in completions by First Nations students, who graduated at a rate of 61.6 per cent this year, up 45 per cent since 2001.

Much of the credit for the improvement is attributable to a renewed spirit of collaboration between the ministry and the First Nations Education Steering Committee and “buy in” from many trustees and principles B.C.’s school districts to make First Nations education a priority, said committee president Tyrone McNeil of the Sto:lo Tribal Council.

“We’ve kept the pressure on for years and we are starting to see it come together now,” he said. “We aren’t ready to let up yet, though; we’d like to see even bigger increases until our students achieve parity.”

New aboriginal curriculum, from First Nations Studies to retooled English courses starting in Grade 10, have First Nations students far more engaged with their studies. Read More

Source: Vancouver Sun

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