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Public Consultation - Amendments to the Education Act

The 2008 Education Act marked the first time that Nunavummiut were able to establish education legislation that was rooted in the principles, values and goals of the territory.

Since 2008, a great deal has been learned through significant review of the administration and implementation of the Education Act. This includes major reviews by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada and the Nunavut Legislative Assembly's Special Committee to Review the Education Act.

As a result of these reviews, there clear opportunities have been identified for moving forward and making the necessary changes to establish the best education system possible for students, teaching professionals and communities. Moving forward requires ammendments to the legislation.

These amendments are proposals only and will be studied, debated and voted on by Member of the Legislative Assembly. The goal of these public consultations and the amendments to the Education Act is to establish a collective vision for education and student development in Nunavut.


Why Are Amendments to the Education Act Necessary?  

The purpose of amending the Education Act is to ensure that we have a strong, forward-looking legislative framework. The changes are significant and are designed to ensure:

  • That student development and achievement is consistent across Nunavut.
  • That there are clear roles and responsibilities for everyone working in education.
  • That responsibilities assigned by the legislation are balanced with respect to capacity and training.
  • That bilingual education delivery is possible and that the system can better address the shortage of Inuktut-speaking teachers.
  • That advocacy is strengthened for communities and District Education Authorities (DEAs).


Overview of the proposed changes to the Education Act:

  • Increased standardization across the territory, which will improve the quality of education, the provision of resources, and the ability to evaluate students and student outcomes.
  • Improved ability for the department to provide bilingual education by standardizing instructional minutes and language of instruction per subject/grade level, which will enable greater efficiencies in terms of staffing and program delivery. This means no longer having three models of bilingual education, but instead a standardized framework.
  • Improvements to Inclusive Education and related assessments. This will include shifting more responsibility on education staff, rather than DEAs. In addition  to this, greater clarity will be provided on what resources will be available and under what circumstances.
  • Rebalancing of the roles of DEAs to concentrate their responsibilities on advocacy, policy governance and local programs. This includes no longer being responsible for funding early childhood education. In addition to this, they will have a recalibrated role in terms of HR for schools, inclusive education and other school administrative duties.
  • DEAs are also retaining responsibility for the Operations and Management Budget, as well as Discipline and Attendance and Registration policies, including parental and family engagement initiatives.
  • A clearer understanding of the roles and responsibilities of principals and teaching staff, including a shifting of responsibility with respect to Inclusive Education.
  • Redefining the roles and responsibilities of the Coalition of Nunavut DEA’s to ensure maximum positive benefit. 
  • Clearly establishing the lines of accountability and responsibility between the Government of Nunavut and the Conseil scolaire francophone du Nunavut, including clarity around the employment of both the Director General and education staff, thereby improving working relationships and communications between the two organizations, as well as better clarifying and protecting employee rights.
  • Editing references to Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit to be more concise within the text of the legislation and consolidating the related duties held by the Minister, education staff and DEAs within Part 1: Fundamental Principles, of the Act. Underlining the importance of IQ to DEA local programming.


What are the Reasons and Objective to updating the Act?

The following chapters share a more in depth review of the changes to the legislation that EDU is proposing. These chapters explain the context within which the changes are situated and the rationales for the proposal. Click on each chapter for more information.

Introduction: A Collective Vision

Fundamental Principles: “Inuit Societal Values and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit—fostering IQ schools across the territory, honouring traditional knowledge, the land and each other”

Bilingual Education and Language of Instruction: “Establishing an improved framework for program delivery and resource development”

Inclusive Education: “Ensuring that all students are provided opportunities to participate, engage, grow and learn”

DEA Roles and Responsibilities: “Engaged Communities—Strengthening our Education System”

Bolstering French First Language Programming: “Tous ensemble!”

Strengthening the Legislation: “Clarity, accountability and filling in the gaps.”

Glossary: Terms and acronyms used

Download the full Policy Intentions document here


Questions for Feedback  

  • How can we create schools enriched by Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and Inuit Societal Values? How do we ensure that principals, education staff and DEAs are modeling Inuit Societal Values and fostering them in the school system?
  • Standardizing the framework for bilingual education across the territory, rather than having three separate models, will help address the massive shortage of Inuktut-speaking teachers, by reducing variation across the system and improving the department’s ability to assign teachers to roles. Do you agree with this change?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing DEAs?
  • Do you agree that reducing the administrative and accounting burden of DEAs, will ensure that they can assume their roles as advocates for their communities?
  • What do you think of the proposed changes? Are there any other issues that you think are important?


Have your voice heard!

Public feedback will help the department understand the opinions of individuals, organizations and communities about these proposed changes, which will in turn assist in the development of the legislation that will be examined and voted on by Members of the Legislative Assembly.

Click here to email feedback/questions/comments to the Department of Education during our public consultations.

Or send your comments to:

Department of Education, Education Act Consultation
PO Box 1000 Stn. 900,
Iqaluit, NU
X0A 0H0


What is the Timeline for Public Consulatations?

  • Phase two of the consultation will start on August 15, with public meetings taking place in:

     Arviat on August 16 at 6 p.m.

     Pangnirtung on August 24 at 6 p.m., at Alookie School

     Arctic Bay on August 30 at 6 p.m., at the Inuujaq School

     Kugluktuk on September 1 at 6 p.m., at Jimmy Hikok Ilihakvik

         Apex on September 2 at 6 p.m., at Nanook School

  • The deadline to provide public feedback is September 2, 2016.


For further reading, please consider:

Policy Intentions Document

Report of the Special Committee to Review the Education Act

    -Response of the Department of Education to the Report of the Special Committee to Review the Education Act

Summary of the OAG Review on the implementation of the Education Act