The Honourable R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE), met virtually with education leaders on Dec. 14 to provide an update on several ECE initiatives to improve student outcomes in the Northwest Territories (NWT). The ongoing COVID-19 situation was also discussed, including vaccines for children aged 5-11, impacts to Diploma Exams, and Christmas travel protocols for educators.
Minister Simpson opened the meeting by welcoming newly elected District Education Council and District Education Authority chairs who were joining for the first time, and thanking them for taking on these important leadership roles in their districts.
The Minister provided an update on the Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 (JK-12) school curriculum renewal. Leaders also heard about next steps for Education Act Modernization, following the recent release of the What We Heard Report. The two-phased approach will begin in early 2022 and will ensure continued meaningful collaboration between ECE and Indigenous governments.
Minister Simpson thanked education bodies for working with Health and Social Services to support at-home screening pilots and the vaccination roll out for children ages 5-11. The Department also discussed holiday travel for educators, noting they should be aware of how COVID-19 measures might affect their return to work, and to ensure they arrange for any necessary testing.
ECE and education leaders are working on a meeting schedule for 2022.
“I’d like to close out 2021 with my sincere thanks to education leaders for your efforts and dedication to NWT students, teachers, schools and communities. I appreciate your leadership and contributions to education in the NWT. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season, and gets a well deserved rest. I look forward to continuing our work and collaboration in 2022.”
-R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment
“It has been another year of challenges due to the ongoing pandemic, but we’re looking forward to starting anew in 2022. Thank you to the Minister and ECE staff for their continued support this year. I hope everyone enjoys a much-deserved break and time with family and friends this holiday season.”
-Darlene Gruben, Chair, Beaufort Delta Divisional Education Council
For more information contact:
Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Chair, Beaufort Delta Divisional Education Council