Early Childhood to Grade 12 Education in the Northwest Territories—Department of Education, Culture and Employment
At a Glance Early Childhood to Grade 12 Education in the Northwest Territories—Department of Education, Culture and Employment
What we examined (see Focus of the audit)
This audit focused on whether the Department of Education, Culture and Employment planned, supported, and monitored the delivery of equitable, inclusive education programs and services that reflected Indigenous languages and cultures, to support improved student outcomes.
Why we did this audit
This audit is important because positive education outcomes are important for students’ well-being and future prosperity. Quality education from early childhood to high school is linked to higher employment rates, lower crime rates, and less reliance on social assistance. Furthermore, according to the department, more than three quarters of the jobs that will become available in the Northwest Territories over the next 15 years will require post-secondary education, extensive work experience and seniority, or a combination of all three. Therefore, positive education outcomes are critical to ensuring that Northwest Territories residents can fill the jobs that will become available in their communities in the future.
Overall, we found that the Department of Education, Culture and Employment took steps to plan, support, and monitor the delivery of education programs and services that were equitable, were inclusive, and reflected Indigenous languages and cultures, to support improved student outcomes. However, its actions fell short of meeting all its commitments and obligations, and it did not know whether its efforts were improving student outcomes. For example, we found that the department was slow to fulfill its responsibilities for Indigenous language education. Unfortunately, with every year that passes, Indigenous language proficiency is declining in the territory, increasing the challenge to keep these languages alive.
We also found that the department did not determine what needed to be done to ensure that students in small communities had equitable access to education programs and services, compared with students in regional centres and in Yellowknife. Also, it did not take sufficient steps to collect and use data to understand how it might make changes to address persistent gaps in student outcomes.
What we found about …
Planning and supporting the delivery of education
Monitoring the delivery of education
Entity responses to recommendations
The audited entity agrees with our recommendations and has responded (see List of Recommendations).
|Report of the||Auditor General of Canada|
|Type of product||Performance audit|
|Completion date||27 November 2019|
|Tabling date||6 February 2020|
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