WINNIPEG - Following a challenging school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, school administrators at a Manitoba First Nation are preparing to have all of their students repeat their grade during the upcoming school year.
The remote northern community of Garden Hill First Nation attempted virtual learning this year, but Education Director Catherine Monias says, with a lack of local teachers, and few families with reliable access to the Internet, students just weren’t able to keep up with the curriculum. Monias says, come September, every single student in grades 1 through 12 will remain in whatever grade they’re in now.
Garden Hill has two schools, one for nursery to Grade 5, and the other for Grade 6 through 12, with more than 1,200 students in total. Although the schools use a provincial curriculum, funding for First Nations education is the jurisdiction of the federal government.
The Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, a program that works with the provincial government to help keep students in line with education standards, is calling on the federal government to provide First Nations communities with more resources, including additional teaching staff.