Media Centre

NTI supports District Education Authorities demand for increased local authority in new Education Act

NR 06-19 DEA ENG Local Authority.doc

(August 21, 2006 – Iqaluit, Nunavut) A Territory-wide District Education Authority meeting was held in Iqaluit from August 15-17 to discuss the development of a new Made-in-Nunavut Education Act. Elected District Education Authority chair persons or alternates from each community attended the meeting, along with other key stakeholders including NTI and the GN education department. In response to the meeting, an Education Act coalition was formed between the DEAs and the Nunavut Francophone community. The coalition issued a August 18,2006 press release demanding increased community control over education to ensure improved student results under a new Education Act.

NTI vice-president James Eetoolook responded favorably to coalition demands. We fully support the District Education Authorities demand for more local control over the education of our children, and the GN needs to respect this demand too.

Local control over education has been inadequate ever since the GN dissolved regional education boards in 2000 with an unfulfilled promise to replace the regional boards with an equally effective means of addressing matters related to education, language, culture and health.

The District Education Authorities in the communities have been left to fend for themselves since the dissolution of the boards. DEAs have no support structures, poor communications with other education stakeholders, and limited authority. It is as if they are being set up to fail, said Eetoolook.

The NTI Board passed a unanimous resolution at its AGM in 2004 to re-establish Regional Education and Health Boards, and the Education Act coalition demand for greater local control reaffirms the NTI resolution.

NTI will request a meeting with the Minister of Education and the Premier of Nunavut regarding this matter.

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