FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
First Nations Education Steering Committee Welcomes Recommendations of Aboriginal Education Audit
Nov. 5, 2015 — Coast Salish Territories / West Vancouver – The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) is calling for the rapid and meaningful implementation of the BC Office of the Auditor General’s recommendations in “Performance Audit – Education of Aboriginal Students in British Columbia.” The report highlights the persistent achievement gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in BC public schools and calls upon the Ministry to more fully exercise its responsibilities and powers to close the gap. FNESC has a positive working relationship with the Ministry and looks forward to working together to fully implement the recommendations.
“The Auditor General’s recommendations align well with those identified by First Nations leadership and communities for improving student outcomes,” said FNESC President, Tyrone McNeil. “It is important for the BC Ministry of Education to hold itself and all partners to a high standard of accountability for improved Aboriginal student outcomes.”
To improve Aboriginal student outcomes, FNESC has called for an annual Aboriginal outcomes report from school districts, immediate action from the Ministry to address the high numbers of First Nations students who leave high school with non-graduation Evergreen Certificates instead of Dogwood Graduation Diplomas, and support for the development of effective local education agreements between school districts and First Nations.
Working together, FNESC and the Ministry of Education have made some progress in recent years and we recognize that much more must be done. Consistent with existing agreements, we are committed to continued collaboration to set out clear responsibilities for closing gaps in education outcomes for Aboriginal students.
The First Nations Education Steering Committee (www.fnesc.ca) is an independent society committed to improving education for all First Nations learners in British Columbia. It is directed by representatives of First Nations communities.
For further comment please contact:
Thane Bonar, Director of Communications and Policy, FNESC