Public Schools and Advanced Education—Yukon Department of Education—Department not addressing gaps in student performance

Whitehorse, 30 January 2009—The Yukon Department of Education is not acting to assess and address critical gaps in student performance, says Sheila Fraser, the Auditor General of Canada, in her Report delivered to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly today.

"Education is vital to the progress of both individuals and the Yukon as a whole," said Ms. Fraser. "Well-educated students are better able to participate in the economy and in society."

The audit found that while the high school graduation rate is lower in the Yukon than in most of Canada, the Department has not assessed the reasons or developed action plans to address them.

The audit also found that the Department was unable to demonstrate that the public school system is adequately preparing students for the shift from high school to post-secondary education or training in trades. Some students are not making this transition well.

The Report says the Department needs to improve its planning in several areas. For example, nearly half the seats in Whitehorse schools are vacant and schools are aging; the Department needs a long-term facilities management plan that takes into account the condition and capacity of each school when identifying where maintenance, repairs, and improvements are most needed. It also needs to plan its staffing needs, in light of declining student enrolment that is expected to continue.

"The Department faces a number of challenges, and to meet them it needs better long-term planning based on good information," said Ms. Fraser.

- 30 -

The report "Public Schools and Advanced Education" is available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada Web site.

For more information, please click here.