Parents need to be involved in school


The first day of school should be for parents, said a parent attending the Iqaluit District Education Authority’s annual general meeting at Inuksuk High School last Tuesday night.

Many parents don’t send their kids to school, don’t come to parent teacher nights, and are generally “disengaged” from their children’s education, the parent said.

IDEA chair Christa Kunuk said part of the problem is that parents are intimidated by the school system.

“I think there’s an intimidation factor,” Kunuk said, pointing out that many parents of this generation went to residential school, and many were also taught not to ask questions, which makes it difficult for them to find out just what is expected of them.

IDEA member Jeannie Eeseemailie agreed.

“Parents who are older than me don’t really have an understanding of the school system,” she said. “They want to come, but some are kind of confused about what exactly is expected of them.”

Inuit Child First, Indigenous Services Canada

All of the school principals warmly greeted the suggestion of an orientation day for parents, where they could meet the teachers, learn about the school system and ask questions.

“Even if it takes time, that would be worth it if we kept doing it every year,” said acting Joamie School principal Eelee Higgins.

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