Poor attendance is harming education in Nunavut and the territorial government should offer financial incentives to encourage students to show up regularly for school, Arviat North-Whale Cove MLA John Main said.
"There are draws for bicycles for good attendance in Arviat for example. However, in other jurisdictions, if your child attends properly then you will be given money by the government," Main said in the legislative assembly on Thursday. "Has the Department of Education considered doing that in Nunavut? Has the Department of Education ever considered this? Maybe Arviat can be the first community, or Whale Cove."
Education Minister David Joanasie said his department provides district education authorities with a registration and attendance toolkit to help them better understand how to improve student attendance. Financial incentives could be another option, the minister conceded.
"If they want to set money aside for attendance I think they can do that, but I would have to look into it further. They might have the authority and I want my colleagues to be aware of that," said Joanasie. "On top of that, I have heard different district education authorities I think use incentives for attendance. If they have a hundred percent attendance, they might now be part of a draw and have prizes. They can do that themselves, I want them to know."