Nunavut Teachers’ Association alleges GN lied to them about NTEP review

“This was a complete falsehood, which has been perpetuated under the current department leadership”

An elder in Kimmirut reads to school children during a literacy event held last fall. The Nunavut Teachers’ Association says they were lied to by the Department of Education about the status of a review conducted by a third party in 2017. (GN handout photo)

By Emma Tranter

The Nunavut Teachers’ Association, the union that represents kindergarten to Grade 12 teachers in the territory, alleges that the Government of Nunavut lied to them about the status of a Nunavut Teacher Education Program review report that was completed in 2017 but leaked to media just this month.

The 77-page report, which is a review of NTEP conducted by Vancouver’s Directions Evidence and Policy Research Group, was never released, even though the department received it in October 2017.

The shelved report was obtained and first reported on by Nunavut News reporter Michele LeTourneau.

The NTA has been inquiring about the status of the report since November 2017, according to a press release.

NTEP is a partnership between Nunavut Arctic College and the University of Regina that prepares Nunavummiut to become classroom teachers in Nunavut schools.

The review concluded that “the current configuration of NTEP is not capable of producing a bilingual, Inuit teacher workforce.”

A survey conducted during the review of NTEP faculty, administration, previous NTEP students and school principals said NTEP teachers “entered the profession without an adequate understanding of what teaching entails to be a respected, successful teacher” and “require significant support when they enter the classroom.”

The survey also slams the program’s instructors, hired on one-year contracts, saying they are not committed and often show up late. The instructors also give students a “false sense of their preparedness for teaching,” the report says.

It also called for a transformation of NTEP that places Nunavut culture, values and language as the foundation for the way the program is constructed.

“The consistent response from the bureaucratic leadership at the Department of Education headquarters, throughout many changes in senior personnel, has been that the NTEP review is still ongoing,” NTA President John Fanjoy said in the release.

And that’s the response the NTA continued to receive.

During consultations on the proposed Education Act amendments in October 2018, NTA asked about the status of the NTEP review.

Department officials told them the review was “ongoing and not completed.”

“This was a complete falsehood, which has been perpetuated under the current Department leadership,” Fanjoy said in the release.

The NTA say they proposed a new position to be funded by the NTA Professional Development Fund that would work to recruit Inuit into the NTEP program and support recent graduates.

The idea was always turned down by the Department of Education, because the department said they had their own recruitment plan in place, the NTA release said.

“We now know through recent media coverage, that there has not been a plan in place on the part of the Department of Education to recruit Inuit to become educators, nor is there a plan to support Inuit educators to remain teaching within our system,” the release states.

The NTA say they want to know why the report was shelved and hidden by the department.

And, as the GN continues to commission outside sources to conduct studies and reports about Nunavut’s education system, the NTA is also questioning what other reports the department might be not be releasing.

The NTA say they will continue to hold the government accountable on the Department of Education’s current plan to recruit and retain NTEP students to meet the bilingual education targets outlined in Bill 25.

Nunavut Teacher Education P… by on Scribd

Share This Story

(19) Comments:

  1. Posted by Crystal Clarity on

    This is no surprise that the department hid this, but at least it is in black and white for all to see now. No accountability or transparency with this department. Always trying to hide the truth about the way business is conducted. NTEP grads are for the most part unprepared for the rigors of teaching. Show up late or not at all, unplanned, no clue how to teach speak less of assessment and evaluating students. They think teaching is a 9-4 job and the vast majority can’t speak enough Inuktitut or Innuinnaqtun to teach in those languages, and their ENglish is just as bad,…. so if the department thought expanding NTEP was going to help meet the targets for 2019 or 2029 or even 2039 they were/are deluded. Teaching is a lot of work and most NTEP grads are incredibly unprepared for all the time and work which needs to be invested in this profession. My apologies to the few NTEP grads who have become good teachers. It is unfortunate that you get lumped into the same barrel. I think the reason so many NTEP grads quit early is because they can work for an Inuit .Org or the private sector for less hours and more pay.

  2. Posted by Knockout Ned on

    It is now clear that the powers that be within the GN are actively trying to undermine the development of an Inuktitut Curriculum. Act accordingly.

  3. Posted by Seriously Ned?? on

    What does curriculum development have to do with training teachers?
    Oh right, nothing.

    • Posted by Pedagogue on

      Yes, Knockout Ned appears to be confused on this issue. This is not about curriculum.

      A curriculum is basically a plan adopted by government that states your learning objectives and desired learning outcomes for each grade in the K to 12 system. By the way, people often get this mixed up with “curriculum materials,” which are tools such as textbooks, workbooks, DVDs, flashcards, posters, videos and other resources. Government sometimes produces these in-house but most of the time acquires them from private sector companies like Inhabit Media

      The GN already has a curriculum for teaching Inuktitut and they are acquiring significant amount of Inuktitut teaching material, hundreds of books they are buying from Inhabit Media.

      This issue is not about curriculum, is about the failure of Nunavut Arctic College, Nunavut Teacher Education Program and University of Regina to create a credible program for training Inuktitut teachers.

      Incidentally, what is the accountability of Nunavut Arctic College in all this? NTEP is under Nunavut Arctic College and NAC is under its own president and board of governors.

      Why has the NAC board of governors allowed this to happen? Why was there no evaluation or quality control of NTEP? Why did NTEP hire instructors who are not even fit to be teachers themselves? Why are the community based NTEP courses such a miserable failure?

      Why are there no foundation courses for NTEP and adult basic education in many communities? Who was in charge at Nunavut Arctic College and why did they allow this to happen?

  4. Posted by Paul Quassup? on

    Hmmm… the GN lied? Oh yeah, do you remember the debacle with the Student Educator Ratio or Funding Formula? I wonder if they lied about that also? Telling school administrators how many students they have… like they don’t know. What’s happening with education in Nunavut is a travesty. The blame needs to be shared from apathetic parents to apathetic students and crooked, underperforming politicians. John Main, Nunavut’s new watchdog, will jump all over this.

  5. Posted by ntafan on

    Fanjoy for Premier!

  6. Posted by “Has Been Hunter” on

    And we Nunavummiut just stand by watching this unfold. We went to school when there were no high schools in the communities and those of us that graduated came out fluent in both Inuktut and English. The GN is setting it self up. The education system with social passing and no real prospects of post-secondary for most is not preparing Nunavut youth for meaningful employment. Yet, they try to promote “leadership” programs to gear residents for higher position officials. Education, training and experience do make up aspects of leadership- and just going the training aspect is shortsighted. Let us collectively push the GN to develop a proper education system and do away with social passing. Of course, today’s teachers struggle to teach youth who are put into higher grades with very little or no academic concepts or skills.

  7. Posted by Nunavutmiutaq on

    What do they think? Look at what is taught in all Nunavut schools, K-12 basic education, then from there we go into college and university, and boom we are given math that we have never been taught in class, English that was never taught in K-12. In smaller communities, all they do is color or do cross word puzzles. NTA do your work and get rid of these teachers that just go to work for their own self. Not all teachers are like that but I’m sure there’s 3-4 of them in each community.

    I myself was embarrassed cause I didn’t know how to do trigonometry, Physics, etc…

    • Posted by Hmmm on

      You’re saying fire all the teachers that are unprepared to teach the curriculum? What if those teachers are Inuit?…

    • Posted by Israel MacArthur on

      Inuit teachers essentially can’t be fired. That’s just the way the system is.

  8. Posted by Commentator99 on

    Finally it becomes clear.

    Department officials have been lying to us for years – and probably lying to their Ministers as well.

    The bad news and bad reports are piling up over the last 10 years from the Education Department. Auditor General reports (multiple), two NTEP reviews, lack of hiring, crisis conditions………..these are the stressors that the Department is placing our schools.

    Does the GN have the guts to accept responsibility and hold someone to account for this deceit and the terrible loss for communities?

    All those “complaining” DEAs were not so wrong after all – as a matter of fact they were right, but no one would listen. So where is the Department’s credibility gone? Good luck getting Bill 25 past the MLAs now.


    This is a prime example how flawed education system is in Nunavut rural schools! Teachers hired to work and Teach quality EDUCATION to students in Class NOT providing nor delivered but simply pretext programs NOT relevant to Students Learning; when basic’s should be taught such as:

    – ENGLISH GRAMMAR (how to learn read and write proper English)
    – MATHEMATIC’s (know basics of MATH)
    – BIO-LOGY or CHEMISTRY (if you want to study in Nurse, Doctor or Biologists etc.)
    – Inuktitut (important to preserve Inuktitut language; not any different to English or French speaking preservation)
    – Physical Education (fitness)

    These are general basics where Quality Education should be taught and delivered in terms as ticket to post-secondary education to pursue career opportunity. If Education delivered can NOT be provided as expected in CLASS through TEACHER’s. Review education delivered or taught in classes or in house job performance review i.e. if TEACHER is QUALIFIED TO TEACH EDUCATION or not! another factor could be is Regional Office’s in administering three different region’s NOT fulfilling recruiting QUALIFIED TEACHER’s! Notice high rates of Gr. 12 graduates but what is the stat’s of student’s enrolled in POST-SECONDARY???

    • Posted by NPC on

      Wow, I see a new deputy minister material here!

  10. Posted by Colin on

    How many times does it have to be said?

    Preservation of Inuktitut, or learning it, is impossible without an accessible grammar book and a really good two-way pocket dictionary printed in regular English type.

    The way to find out whether someone knows any language is to get a translation from one language to another—say a couple of pages of Harry Potter or Markoosie’s Harpoon of the Hunter. Then get someone else to translate it back again to see if you get the same general meaning.

    This must be a basic test both ways for all would-be Inuit teachers teaching or just using Inuktitut in the classroom. How many Inuit teachers would pass this test? Just asking.

  11. Posted by qaujisaaq on

    The dept of ed DM at the time it was carried out is no longer there but she led the Minister of ed., as did the Presidents of the college, who are no longer there either but they didn’t do their job. It is evident they and their underlings know squat about the history of ed. in Nunavut. The Aarluk team have little education experience so their advice is questionable. The college has had poor leadership. NTEP had a director who is apparently no longer there who made poor decisions and now in charge of one of the schools in Iqaluit. Apparently there is no required training for Inuk language teachers who teach grade 4-12 like there used to be. Education and the college have long ignored this. Instead they have listened to fly-by-night policy advisors or inexperienced senior managers thereby making poor choices.

    • Posted by iWonder on

      It sounds like a good part of the problem, but not all of it, is attracting and retaining good and professional employees. I wonder why?

  12. Posted by Not surprised on

    Are you surprised? I certainly am not. My daughter’s learnt more in 8 months at an Ontario school than they ever did in a Nunavut school taught by NTEP graduates.
    One day I asked one of my daughter’s how was school today? “It was good” she replied.
    “What did you do today?” I asked. “We had free time and watched a movie” It was a Tuesday. Guess who was the teacher? An NTEP grad.

    • Posted by Whooptie Doo on

      So the kids watched a movie on a Tuesday…. this is really not a compelling or damning story you know.

      • Posted by bad school on

        it is damning. They are not learning, they are watching TV. This is the root of Nunavut’s problems…right here!

Comments are closed.