YELLOWKNIFE (May 5, 2017) – Last week, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) Alfred Moses, met with Divisional Education Council Chairs and Chairs of the Yellowknife District #1, Yellowknife Catholic Schools, Ndilo District Education Authority, Dettah District Education Authority, Commission scolaire francophone Territoires du Nord-Ouest and the Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency to discuss education in the Northwest Territories.
There was a positive exchange of views and concerns with discussion focusing on collaboration, communication, and planning for future activities.
Minister Moses updated Board Chairs on his work with the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC). He advised that, in July, he will assume the role of Vice Chair of CMEC for two years, followed by a two-year appointment as the CMEC chair. The group agreed this will bring opportunities to the Northwest Territories and increase awareness of accomplishments in northern education and advancing the northern agenda on the national stage.
The Minister and Chairs discussed a number of other items including student mental health, proposed changes to the Education Act and implementation of junior kindergarten (JK).
Following a discussion on student and staff mental health there was consensus that, while good work has been undertaken by many Education Authorities, this issue remains a priority. There is recognition that properly resourced programs and services must be implemented and should reflect Indigenous perspectives. The group agreed this is a complex, multi-disciplinary issue and that other Government of the Northwest Territories departments and partners must be part of any discussion.
Superintendents advised this is also a pressing national issue and that the July 2017 Canadian Association of School System Administrators conference theme of Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities, Healthy Future will have a focus on mental health. Representatives from ECE and Education Authorities will be attending this conference to learn about and take advantage of professional development opportunities.
Minister Moses thanked Board Chairs for their collaboration and contribution to JK implementation, the success of which is truly a joint effort.
Board Chairs also presented on the best practices and challenges they are facing in their regions. The Minister thanked them for their hard work and asked that they reflect his thanks back to their boards.
“We had a very productive meeting and talked about a number of important issues. It was obvious everyone around the table cares deeply about education. We had excellent discussions and some thoughtful ideas were brought forward. We are in a period of transformative change which brings about passionate responses. We are all agreed we want better results for our students and are rolling up our sleeves and continuing to get to work. That so many people are sharing their thoughts proves how critical this work is to Northerners. I am confident the future of our school system is in good hands and I am proud to lead such a motivated team of education leaders.”
-Alfred Moses, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment
“The Board Chairs value the opportunity to come together as education partners and to meet directly with the Minister. These meetings allow the chairs the opportunity to share successes and concerns related to education in the Northwest Territories. With a commitment to transparency and an open dialog, both parties will continue to work together to serve the students of the NWT.”
-Miles Welsh, Chair, Yellowknife Catholic Schools
Media and Communications Coordinator
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: (867) 767-9140 ext. 11092