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

South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates talk climate change and environment at recent forum

Forum on Tuesday grilled candidates about plan to bring about low carbon emission economy

Celgar says equipment failure won’t affect production next week

The chip dumper collapse on Oct. 6 is still under investigation

Greater Trail at odds with BC Hockey

Greater Trail Bantam Rep players left without a league

Kootenay-Columbia riding candidates have Canada’s highest expense limit

Facebook data also shows who is buying ads on the social media website

VIDEO: U.S. officials refute British couple’s ‘accidental’ border-crossing claim

Authorities say couple was arrested after illegal entry from B.C., with $16,000 and marijuana

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Most Read