Nunavik makes progress on diploma issue, curriculum development
“It is important to understand that curriculum development is a continuing activity”
SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS
MONTREAL—Quebec’s education department has told the Kativik School Board that their science programs will be accredited by the end of June.
The KSB’s Council of Commissioners met in Montreal June 19 to June 22 to discuss, among other issues, curriculum development and accreditation of the sciences program.
Accreditation of Nunavik’s science and math curriculum materials is essential in order for high school graduates in Nunavik to receive actual diplomas instead of certificates of attestation, which is what they have received since 2015.
Etua Snowball, the KSB’s director of education services, confirmed to Nunatsiaq News last week that the science program, at least, will soon receive accreditation.
The education department also approved the KSB’s new elementary math program, which is expected to be implemented next year in all Nunavik schools. It’s intended to better prepare students for the secondary level studies, Snowball said.
“It is important to understand that curriculum development is a continuing activity,” Snowball said.
“It involves ongoing communication with and review by the [education department, in French, le Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur]. Our programs will continue to evolve, will be revised and adjusted; this is the very nature of curriculum development work and it applies to all accredited programs. Therefore, the school board will continue to require the ministry of education to review and accredit programs.”
The KSB is also working on some new initiatives such as Inuit-centred environmental sciences for secondary students, a land-based curriculum, some career and community development courses, as well as completing the framework for full integration of the first and second languages curriculum, which is already in progress.
The Council of Commissioners also stressed the importance for all curriculum development work to be done using the Inuktitut language, and through a lens of Inuit culture and values.
In May, the KSB asked for the appointment of a high-level official, at the deputy-ministerial level, to co-ordinate all matters related to Aboriginal content in education. The creation of such a position was recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in June 2015.
Quebec’s education department has since appointed its director of services to Aboriginals and Northern Development, Josée Arsenault, as the key contact person for the school board for all issues related to program accreditation, equivalency of programs and curriculum, as well as curriculum pathways.
Snowball sees this as a positive development.
“This has improved the responsiveness of the ministry of education related to the specific issue of accreditation of our science program. This is a very positive development.”
Annie Popert, the KSB’s director general, said she and her colleagues are currently working with the education department on developing a terms of reference for the launch of an education roundtable.
“Everyone’s priority has been to resolve the attestation and diploma issue and we are hopeful to have the roundtable established by the beginning of the school year to deal with all ongoing pedagogical issues for which we need direct links with the ministry,” Popert said.
As for the lawsuit against the provincial and federal governments last year demanding more funding for education, news is coming, Popert said.
“The Council of Commissioners plans to inform Nunavummiut about this this week via the local FM radio, in all Nunavik communities,” she said.