The Kativik School Board adds its voiced to the statement made by Makivik
Kuujjuaq, Qc. (May 12, 2017) – The Kativik School Board welcomes the recent Makivik statement on education in Nunavik, which broadens the on-going public conversation on the well-being of children in the region.
As the organization with jurisdiction over and responsibility for education in Nunavik (Section 17 of the JBNQA) the Kativik School Board has a very clear understanding of the scope and seriousness of the situation facing the children of Nunavik.
“As frontline workers in education we witness and address, on a daily basis, a broad spectrum of issues related to the well-being of children that have a direct impact on their educational success. These include issues as widely disparate as limited resources for the identification of learning disabilities, severe poverty or over-crowded housing,” said Robert Watt, Vice-President of the Kativik School Board. In this context, the Kativik School Board wishes to stress that it stands ready to cooperate fully with the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de jeunesse, should the latter decide to carry out an investigation on all aspects of children’s rights in Nunavik.
As we strive to develop an education system that produces graduates at par with other students in Quebec and who are confident in their skills, language and culture, we welcome the support expressed by Makivik. We add our voice to theirs as we call on both Inuit leaders and the Government of Quebec to take action and resolve the unacceptable situation we find ourselves in Nunavik today.
The Kativik School Board has sought coordinated action from the Quebec government, something essential to resolve the many issues at hand. Our open letter to the Ministry of Education, which refers specifically to the accreditation of the Kativik School Board mathematics and science program, is just the most recent letter in a long series of attempts to engage the Ministry of Education. Despite all the Kativik School Board’s efforts, the Ministry of Education has consistently ignored our requests for assistance and support. This lack of responsiveness, coupled with inadequate funding from the Quebec and Canadian governments leaves Nunavik students in a situation for which the Ministry of Education shares responsibility. The Kativik School Board even initiated litigation in February 2016 against the Québec and Federal Governments in order to force the agenda forward and effectively address the significant achievement gap between Inuit students and the provincial average in terms of completing secondary and postsecondary studies.
We would like to clarify that KSB does not issue Secondary Studies Diplomas, nor does it issue Attestations of Equivalence of Secondary Studies. The Quebec Ministry of Education issues all Diplomas and Attestations. The decision to start issuing AESS to KSB students was a decision of the Ministry of Education.
“To Nunavik students who are currently in school, I would like to reiterate that the AESS allows you to go to college, CEGEP and university. The school board remains committed to ensuring that you will not face undue administrative hurdles when applying for college or CEGEP,” added Robert Watt.
The Kativik School Board (KSB) was created in 1975, under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. Since 1978, it has been the exclusive provider of academic services to the population of Nunavik. The education programs developed by the KSB are offered in all schools of the 14 Nunavik communities, in Inuktitut as first language and in French and English as second languages. The school board operates 17 primary and secondary schools as well as 5 adult education centres. More information can be found at: www.kativik.qc.ca
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