Nunavut’s high school graduation rate is abysmal


Most of Canada is positioned pretty well in the OECD’s ranking of high school graduation rates: the national rate of high school graduation in 2011 was 89 per cent for Canadians aged 25 to 64, and all the provinces and territories except one ranged between 79 per cent and 92 per cent. According to the OECD, the international average was 75 per cent.

The lowest-ranking area in Canada, with a graduation rate of just 54 per cent, was Nunavut.

In recent years Nunavut’s graduation rate has been increasing, though that is not completely good news: some people in Nunavut fear the increase is due to relaxing standards. “Social promotion,” the practice of advancing a student whether or not they have fulfilled the requirements of a given grade, is enough of a problem in Nunavut that the new premier addressed it upon his appointment.

Peter Taptuna, appointed premier by the territorial legislature in November, has made education a priority for his government. Shortly after being named premier Taptuna said “there’s always been talk throughout the territory that our graduates are not able to read and write,” and that he plans to counteract these shortcomings.

Since Taptuna has only been in power for two months, it’s far too early to look at how he’s doing on education. He has a lot of other issues to deal with as well, though: nearly half of all Inuit respondents to a study have considered suicide, while over one quarter have attempted it, and “makeshift courtrooms” lack basic necessities like heating and bathrooms.

[StatsCan] [image via Dani J/Flickr]

high school, , Nunavut