Graduation rates for Indigenous students are rising in B.C., but closing the education outcome gaps that still exist requires more attention, says auditor general Carol Bellringer. (Black Press Media files)

B.C. auditor says Indigenous grad rate highest ever but education gaps exist

The percentage of Indigenous students graduating from B.C. public high schools has hit its highest level ever

Graduation rates for Indigenous students are rising in B.C., but closing the education outcome gaps that still exist requires more attention, says auditor general Carol Bellringer.

READ MORE: Province invests $2.7 million in Indigenous teacher education training

An audit report Tuesday found the percentage of Indigenous students graduating from B.C. public high schools hit its highest level ever last year at 70 per cent. During the same period, 86 per cent of non-Indigenous students graduated from Grade 12.

“Overall, while there has been improvement, the system is still not supporting Indigenous students to have the same success that non-Indigenous students enjoy,” Bellringer said during a conference call with reporters. “Indigenous students on average are still not doing as well.”

Bellringer said the audit is an update from a 2015 report that called on the Education Ministry to address differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in reading, writing and math assessments, graduation rates and feelings of safety at schools.

The 34-page report says that despite posting the highest graduation rate ever “there is still a 16 per cent gap between Indigenous students and non-Indigenous students.”

It also says ”Indigenous students are still more likely than non-Indigenous students to report not feeling safe in school, and to report higher rates of feeling bullied, teased and picked on.”

The audit makes 11 recommendations to the Education Ministry, including more collaboration between education officials and Indigenous leaders to develop strategies to close the outcome gap for Indigenous students.

“That’s the key to the final solution, if you will, to the root cause and without that kind of a strategy piece, you’re really just trying (to fix) parts and not looking at it holistically,” Bellringer said.

The Education Ministry says in a response to the report that much progress needs to be made, but the results have been compelling since 2013-2014 when the Indigenous graduation rate was 62 per cent.

Dirk Meissner , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

“Does Kirby care?” Heiltsuk Nation using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

“No excuse” for killing of two young grizzly cubs

Reader hopeful someone will come forward with information

UPDATE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

No delivery services hard on local families

New parents Candace Knudsen and Bjorn Samuelsen spent five weeks away from home

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read