(Black Press Media photo)

High school completion rate decreases for Prince Rupert Aboriginal students

Completion rate decreased from 63 per cent in 2017 to 62 per cent in 2018

A new report from the B.C. Ministry of Education shows that in 2018, high school completion rates for Aboriginal students have levelled off in School District 52 (SD52) after a year of growth.

According to the 2018 How Are We Doing Aboriginal Report, Prince Rupert Aboriginal students had a six-year completion rate of 62 per cent, down from 63 percent in 2017. That number is 19 percent lower than Non-Aboriginal students in Prince Rupert and eight per cent lower than the provincial average for Aboriginal student across the province.

Aboriginal males (56 per cent) also had a lower overall completion rate compared to Aboriginal females (66 per cent).

SD52 teachers learn about ancient Ts’msyen traditions

“What’s really important is that Aboriginal kids see themselves in the curriculum, they see themselves in land-based learning and place-based learning. When they see themselves in the curriculum, then it makes more sense to them,” she said.

One way LaPierre hopes to address the issues is through the implementation of a literacy plan focused on ensuring all students are reading by the time they reach Grade 3.

“If students aren’t reading by the time they’re in Grade 3, that lessens the chance of their completion as they move through school,” she said. “So we have to start right from the beginning and get that strength of reading with all students.

“Once you see an increase in our literacy and numeracy, you’ll see an increase in our completion rates across the board.”

READ MORE: Students learn how to code a drone in SD52

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Matthew Allen | Reporter
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