Online High School Providing Indigenous Youth with a Better Education
Career Path : Education News
In a tight knit indigenous community, where parents, grandparents and sometimes great grandparents all live together, it can be difficult to send children away from the community to attend a public high school. There are issues which can arise, like a student’s isolation, transportation issues causing missed school and a vast difference in home and school life. These are all seen as detrimental to indigenous youth education, and a large part of why indigenous high school graduation rates are only at 36%, whereas the overall average in Canada is 87%.
On-reserve schools are a much more popular option, although poor funding by the government often makes it difficult to maintain buildings, get tools like Smart Boards in classrooms and hire teachers who will work in remote areas. As a response to this issue, the Keewaytinook Internet High School is now in place for indigenous students in the Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay areas. The school has been offered in 13 communities and 300 students have already been enrolled. Principal of the online school, Darrin Potter says:
“One of the school’s founding principles is to enable students to continue their education in their communities. Our goal is to give these students a quality education”.
How the schools functions is that each community has a dedicated a classroom with a qualified Ontario teacher and computers. Students have the ability to work on computers at school and home, and submit homework online.
What measures do you think can be taken to further enrich an online high school?