Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Aboriginal Students Success

Education Minister Nancy Allan announces $1.3 million in new funding for the Aboriginal Academic Achievement grant at Tec-Voc High School.
Education Minister Nancy Allan announces $1.3 million in new funding for the Aboriginal Academic Achievement grant at Tec-Voc High School
February 14, 2012


New funding of $1.3 million has been dedicated to the Aboriginal Academic Achievement (AAA) grant, which will help school divisions deliver quality programs that target academic success for Aboriginal (First Nation, M├ętis and Inuit) students, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today at Tec Voc High School, adding this new funding will bring this year’s total funding for AAA to $8.8 million.
“Aboriginal education continues to be a priority for this government and this new funding ensures school divisions can continue to provide quality education to Aboriginal students in our schools,” Allan said.  “The Aboriginal Academic Achievement grant assists schools and teachers to help Aboriginal students stay engaged in learning, which keeps them in school.”
School divisions use the AAA grant to support Aboriginal academic achievement by hiring teachers, and providing quality programming in literacy, numeracy and in the arts to keep students involved in school, Allan said.
These activities support the development of students’ self-identity, self-worth, confidence and success, the minister said, adding the Department of Education is also working with schools to strengthen ways of enabling parents to have greater engagement in the education of their children and greater involvement in schools.
“Learning about one’s culture and connecting to one’s heritage and community helps to keep students engaged, which is critical to academic achievement and overall student well-being,” said Allan.  “This targeted investment is part of this government’s larger strategy to ensure all students get the skills they need for a successful future.”
The Aboriginal Academic Achievement grant also supports professional learning and planning among teachers, principals, specialists, support staff, parents and the community. The province has designated $600,000 of the AAA fund to the Building Student Success with Aboriginal Parents initiative which supports 45 projects in 19 school divisions that build partnerships with Aboriginal parents and communities through programs that promote Aboriginal languages and cultures.
The government has made additional investments including:
  • Investing $3 million for nine community-based education programs for at-risk youth funded through the Bright Futures program including a commitment of $425,000 for Pathways to Education Canada (October 2010).  Programs include mentoring, help with homework, career exploration, and planning for post-secondary education and apprenticeships/trades. 
  • Introducing new mandatory courses on Aboriginal perspectives for teachers in training and ensuring school curriculums include residential schools, treaties and Aboriginal history.   
  • Providing $600,000 for a pilot project on increasing student success (June 2010).
  • In partnership, Manitoba Education, the Manitoba Metis Federation and the Louis Riel Institute are working to improve education outcomes for students in Manitoba schools through projects on learning resources development. 
  • Partnering with the University of Winnipeg in the Shine On Initiative, which is intended to help increase representation of Manitoba’s Aboriginal community in post-secondary education.  The department-approved school-initiated course is delivered through the U of W Collegiate to high-school students who take the course on campus.
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