The province’s Education Minister Peter Fassbender says teachers in B.C. will devote one of their six professional development days next year to aboriginal education.
The minister says the change marks the first time aboriginal education is the sole focus of a day where teachers gather at their schools for a conference without the students in class.
B.C. teachers have six professional development days a year as part of their collective agreement, and the government is able to decide the topic for one of those days.
Fassbender says the Education Ministry will sign a protocol agreement with First Nations educators that sets a clear framework for co-operation on aboriginal education initiatives.
B.C. is set to introduce education curriculum changes next year that will see students learn about aboriginal culture and history, including the discriminatory residential school experience.
A joint provincial health officer and children’s representative report Thursday found that graduation rates among B.C. aboriginal students are rising but there are still too many aboriginal students leaving school or not achieving while they are there.