Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Education in Yukon—Department of Education does not know if students’ needs are being met
Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Education in YukonDepartment of Education does not know if students’ needs are being met
Whitehorse, 18 June 2019—Today, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada provided the Yukon Legislative Assembly with the results of an audit that examined whether the Department of Education delivered education programs that were inclusive and reflected Yukon First Nations culture and languages, and whether it assessed and addressed gaps in student outcomes.
“We determined that the Department of Education did not know whether its programs met the needs of students, particularly those with special needs and those from Yukon First Nations,” said Ms. Jo Ann Schwartz, the Principal responsible for the audit.
The audit found that the Department had made little effort to identify, understand, and address the root causes of long-standing gaps in student outcomes between First Nations and other Yukon students, and between rural and urban students. Without a knowledge of root causes, the Department had no way of knowing whether it was focusing its time and resources where they were most needed.
The audit also found that the Department did not monitor the delivery of services and supports to students who had special needs, nor did it monitor these students’ outcomes. As a result, the Department did not know whether its approach to inclusive education was working, or whether it needed to focus more attention on certain schools, groups, teachers, or subject areas. Half of the teachers surveyed during the audit felt that they did not have the supports they needed to deliver inclusive education, and two thirds of those same teachers reported that they lacked sufficient training.
The audit also found that the Department of Education did not do enough to create a partnership with Yukon First Nations that would allow it to fully develop and deliver education programs that reflected Yukon First Nations culture and languages. Nor did it provide schools with enough direction, oversight, and support to help them deliver culturally inclusive programming.
“The Department of Education has agreed with our recommendations,” said Ms. Schwartz. “The successful implementation of these recommendations will be important to improving the Department’s ability to provide inclusive education services and supports to all Yukon students.”
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The report “Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Education in Yukon—Department of Education” is available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada website.
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