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

Splash of Red returns

The 8th annual Splash of Red fundraiser takes place Thursday, August 15 at the Caetani House in Vernon

Vernon society sends seniors, shut-ins on boat excursions

Okanagan Quality Life Society has been providing Okanagan Lake boat rides for nearly 30 years

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP meets with religious leaders

Discussion included effect of attestation requirement and other legislation on faith communities

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy, showers expected

Environment Canada is predicting a mix of sun and clouds tomorrow and a sunny weekend across the Okanagan

Bollywood Bang fundraiser for CMHA Vernon a success

CMHA received $33,922 from Bollywood event to support crisis line and youth programs

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

Okanagan Basin Water Board continues call to protect B.C. waters from invasive mussels

The board is pushing for additional regulations from the government

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Drones, psychics, dogs and more have been employed to help find Grace Baranyk, 86

Summerland real estate agents handled many home transactions

Larry and Donna Young spent 40 years in Summerland housing market

Okanagan FC one win away from playoff berth

The Kelowna soccer club finishes their season with two home games

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Virtual reality, arcade gaming centre opens in Salmon Arm

Owner hopes to host city’s first Esports team for games like League of Legends, Fortnite

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Most Read