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Aboriginal School System in Canada
Aboriginal peoples in Canada comprise of hundreds of communities with a wide range of cultures, languages, as well as nation-based governance. In year 2006, over one million people in Canada identified themselves as Aboriginal. This represented about 3.8% of the total population in the country. The population of Aboriginal people in Canada is growing at a substantial rate. This rate is almost six times faster than the growth rate of the non-Aboriginal population (Asch 2007). For quite a long time, the Aboriginal people in Canada have understood the role of education in building a healthy, as well as a thriving community. Despite the substantial cultural and historical disparities, the Aboriginal communities in Canada share a clear vision regarding a holistic and lifelong process (Nguyen 2011).
Currently, Aboriginal communities, organizations, and governments are increasingly making realistic decisions and developing various policies, which reflect a better understanding as well as awareness of perspective on learning by the Aboriginal people (Asch 2007). Nevertheless, the effectiveness of these decisions and policies is still relying primarily on convectional measurement, which offers a limited and incomplete perception of the Aboriginal learning state in Canada (Nguyen 2011).
Current measurement approaches mainly focus on the disparities in attainment of education between the Aboriginal students and non-Aboriginal students, particularly the youths in high school. This takes that high school completion rates. The measures also put a significant emphasis on other aspects of learning which are integral in the perspective on Aboriginal learning (Asch 2007).
A reliable research indicates that effective early childhood education usually plays a significant role in preparing Aboriginal children to start attending school. In addition, it also helps in providing a solid foundation to the development of children throughout their lifespan. The research also indicates that more than half of the Aboriginal children usually receive a regular child care (Nguyen 2011). This is lower compared to the non-Aboriginal children, where majority receive this care. This is a clear indication that the non-Aboriginal people have more opportunities than the Aboriginal people.
With regard to high-school completion rate, it is a fact that the Aboriginal people have a lower completion rate as compared to the non-Aboriginal people in the country (Asch 2007). In a research carried out in 2006 indicates that about 40% of the Aboriginal people between the age of 20 and 24 do not have high school certificates. This is significantly higher compared to the 13% in the non-Aboriginal people.
Poor socioeconomic conditions, as well as the absence of any specific federal or provincial responsibility in Canada, are significantly contributing to the suffering of the Aboriginal people in the country in an attempt to receive formal education. Efforts by various leaders, as well as Aboriginal educators to acquire the authority to educate Aboriginal children is contributing to federal and provincial legislation that is formalizing the local jurisdiction of the Aboriginal communities (Antone 2003). Increasing achievement in education for the Aboriginal people is an ongoing challenge that has been there for more than a century. Taking this into consideration, there is a need for radical reforms for the purpose of providing equal opportunities in learning to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in the country.
Learning in School
Schools always play a significant role in improving the lives of children, families and also the community (Regan 2010). From nursery school, through primary school to high school, schools usually equip children with various skills, which provide an effective foundation for lifelong learning. Schools equip children with knowledge and skills, while working to instill the desire of learning, values of the community, a sense of responsibility and citizenship (Antone 2003).
With regard to the Aboriginal children, they attend various types of schools, which vary from one region to another. For instance, most of the Aboriginal children in Canada who live off-reserve usually attend schools which fall under territorial or provincial jurisdiction. These schools range from larger schools in urban areas to small remote schools in rural areas (Regan 2010).
A research carried out indicates that the drop-out rate of Aboriginal student in Canada is high as compared to the non-Aboriginal. Incompletion rates of high-school vary significantly from one community to another throughout the country (Regan 2010). For instance, the incompletion rate for the Aboriginal students is about 38% in Prince Edward, 47% in British Columbia and 72% in Manitoba (Nguyen 2011). Taking this into consideration, it is true that the overall incompletion rate of Aboriginal students is high. However, this is usually not the case with non-Aboriginal students, as their high-school incompletion rate is almost insignificant. This, therefore, portrays that the distribution of resources between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in the country is not fair (Antone 2003).
High school incompletion rate usually depends on various factors such as student engagement, expectations parental engagement, relevant curriculum and the school environment. However, the poverty level of the Aboriginal people contributes substantially in the low attainment of the education leading to high rates of incompletion (Antone 2003).
Most of schools across Canada always participate in various school activities which foster and also appreciate the role of the formal education in the lives of the people. However, there are some schools that engage less in these activities as they believe that these activities has little part to play in improving the academic lives of the students and the community at large (Regan 2010). The most common method used in Canada to examine the engagement of the student in academic is through examining absenteeism. Nevertheless, the attendance rates of the Aboriginal student are hard to obtain, as there are various education systems which enrolls these students. According to reliable statistics there is a significant proportion of 3% of Aboriginal children who are absent from school two or more weeks throughout the school year. Education system in the country reports that the highest Aboriginal absentee rates usually occur during the high school years. This is not the case with the non-Aboriginal students who report insignificant rates of absenteeism. This makes the Aboriginal students to perform poorer than the non-Aboriginal (Regan 2010).
Apart from absenteeism, there are other factors that contribute to poor performance of the Aboriginal students as compared to the non-Aboriginal (Nguyen 2011). A survey carried out the main reasons that make the Aboriginal students leave school is because they want to work, or the school is too tedious for them to put up with. Taking this into consideration, it implies that the Aboriginal people in Canada are usually at a disadvantage with regard to the attainment of formal education. This comes also due to their negative attitude concerning education. On the other, the non-Aboriginal students a lot on education and they consider education as the key to success. The overall consequence of this is that the non-Aboriginal students usually get more opportunities once they are through with school than Aboriginal students (Antone 2003).
For the Aboriginal people in Canada to benefit from formal education as the non-Aboriginal people, several reforms are necessary. The government should control the policies in education including especially those related to teacher hiring, budgeting and school programs. The government of Canada should also consider expanding various opportunities in vocational and technical programs through education policies at the local, as well as urban levels (Nguyen 2011). Teachers in Canada should consider instructing Aboriginal children at lower grades in home and community language. This will significantly boost their foundation and develop a positive attitude toward school. The overall result of this is that the attainment of education of Aboriginal student will be equal to that of non-Aboriginal students. This will give them equal opportunities, not only in school, but also participation in the community.
Post secondary education is plays a vital role in the success of many young people. This is because at this level, young people undergo advanced training, which equips them with skills and credentials that needed at the workplace (Nguyen 2011). Michael Mendelson suggested that the success of Aboriginal people in post-secondary education will play a vital role in the prosperity of Canada, both in the social and economic sectors of the country. Although this is the case, in 2006, an estimated 41% of Aboriginal people with the age between 25 and 64 had a post-secondary certificate compared to 56% non-Aboriginal population that had post-secondary education.
Moreover, from the start of 2001 to 2006, only 6% to 8% of aboriginal people had attained university certificates compared to 23% of non-aboriginal with university certificates. The big gap in post-secondary education between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal people is because of a huge gap in the attainment of university certificates (Nguyen 2011). However, the number of Aboriginal people with university certificates is unevenly distributed. According to a case study, Aboriginal people living in minute towns, only 7% of them have a university education while 12% of Aboriginal people living in large cities have a university education.
Canada is one of the top nations with the highest number of university attainment. Nevertheless, a more in-depth research…[continue]
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