Aboriginal Leaders Believe Inuit Immersion Schools Will Boost Performance

In an attempt to get Inuit graduation rates higher than 25%, following two years of research by aboriginal leaders like Mary Simon – head of Canada’s national Inuit group – are fighting for Inuit language immersion schools. She points to a 2008 United Nations panel that early Native language instruction was the greatest prediction of future success. According to retired justice Thomas Berger, the schools would take about $20 million a year to implement, and leaders are looking to the federal government, private businesses, and non-profits. However, even Inuit parents would need to be convinced in the potential of bilingual schools, since many of them are suspicious and skeptical about the value of public education in their area. One of Simon’s first goals would be to have literacy programs for adults, to make them more integral in the education system and counteract any cynicism.

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