Visits with students, teachers and parents in Goose Bay and Sept-Îles highlight seventh regional engagement session
QUÉBEC CITY, Nov. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - The importance of parental
involvement is a key factor in student achievement, underscored
teachers and school administrators meeting with the National Panel on
First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education in Labrador and
Québec. There is a strong connection between a student's success in
school and their parents' involvement and support in their child's
educational experience said staff at Sheshatshiu Innu School and
Uashat's Manikanetish High School and Johnny Pilot Primary School. As
well, teachers and principals highlighted communities as a whole have
an important role to play in supporting and strengthening schools and
Parental involvement can take many forms including attending school
functions, responding to school obligations such as parent-teacher
conferences, helping children with homework, encouraging them, and
modeling desired behavior such as reading for pleasure, the educators
said. Examples of the importance of broader community support included
volunteering at the school and playing an active role in
decision-making in terms of planning and developing the educational or
school community. Everyone, from parents to elected leaders to Elders
has an important role to play teachers advised.
"Parental involvement results in students getting higher grades and
having higher graduation rates. Additionally, the students have better
school attendance, increased motivation and self-esteem, lower rates of
suspension, decreased usage of drugs and alcohol and fewer instance of
violent behavior," said Mr. Clarence Davis, Principal of Sheshatshiu
Innu School, near Goose Bay. "When parents are involved, not only do
students do better in school, and in life, but parents become more
empowered, teacher morale improves, schools improve and this all
combines to create stronger communities."
Important factors for quality schools and positive education experiences
highlighted during the Roundtable in Sept-Îles, Québec included:
Paying on-reserve teachers on par with public school is key for school
stability and low staff turn-over;
The vital role of secondary supports from First Nations regional
education organizations for such things as curriculum development,
teacher training and student assessment; and
The importance of indigenous language and culture for students'
self-esteem and resiliency.
"The Panel's time in Labrador and Québec once again demonstrated that
there are hundreds of committed educators and leaders across the
country - First Nations and non-Aboriginal people alike - whose highest
priority is improving the quality of education and outcomes for First
Nations students," said Scott Haldane, Chair of the Panel. "Every
child deserves a quality education that is respectful and supportive of
values and culture and opens the door to realizing his or her full
potential to contribute to their community and pursue their dreams."
More than half of First Nations peoples are under age 25 and 350,000 are
under 14. Fewer than half of First Nations students attending schools
on and off-reserve graduate from high school, compared to more than 80
per cent of other Canadian youth. Non-Aboriginal students are over 10
times more likely to obtain a university degree than on-reserve
students. Employment levels for First Nations students who graduate
university are virtually identical to other Canadians.
The Panel, a joint initiative of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
Development Canada (AANDC) and the Assembly of First Nations, will
deliver its recommendations to the federal minister and National Chief
by year end.
For more information and to have your say in the development of
recommendations to improve First Nation elementary and secondary
education, please visit: www.firstnationeducation.ca. Follow the Panel's activities on Twitter at Panel_Education.
SOURCE National Panel on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education
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