Canadian Education News

Government of Canada Supports First Nations students
A press release was published reporting on the support from the government of Canada for access to education for First Nations students. Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, made an announcement of a total of $5 million to assistance First Nations learners.

The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) will be given $2 million via the Canada Post-Secondary Partnerships Program for two years ($2 million per year, starting 2017-18). Also, the First Nations University of Canada will develop the National Centre for Collaboration in Indigenous Education with the other $3 million.

“This initiative marks the first step in the Government of Canada’s Comprehensive Review of Post-Secondary Education, undertaken in collaboration with Indigenous partners,” the press release said, “This review will ensure that the current federal programs supporting Indigenous students’ pursuit of post-secondary education, meet their actual needs in supporting attendance and completion of their chosen degree.”

Global Education Survey on Canadian Students
According to a recent press release, the Canadian students most probable to self-fund use the education savings plan. In Canada, 76% of parents assist with funding their child’s education. However, across the globe, the average is 87% of students are assisted financially by their parents for post-secondary education.

Also, Canadian students are the most likely to “fund their own education goals (42% vs. global average: 15%).” The data comes from the HSBC The Value of Education: Higher and Higher study. 8,400 parents and 15 countries and territories worldwide were included in this survey.

Executive Vice President and Head of Retail banking and Wealth Management, Larry Tomei, said, “The good news is that Canadians take a proactive approach to financing their child’s education…Taking advantage of registered education savings programs, or scholarships and bursaries is key, however, there is still opportunity to do even more.”

Physician Education Program Announced for Prevention for Suicide
“The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) and mdBriefCase Group, are pleased to announce a new physician education program designed to support Canadian healthcare professionals in the prevention of suicide,” according to a recent press release.

A one-hour program called Suicide: Facing the difficult topic together – Empowering physicians, instilling hope in patients was published through a multi-disciplinary faculty. Suicide is a “major public health issue,” according to Louise Bradley, the President and CEO of the MHCC.

Suicide cases, based on research, often had contact with a healthcare provider. The Executive Director of CASP, said, “It is essential that professionals become pro-active in opening the conversation around suicide to help the people be more comfortable to share those overwhelming feelings and get help as early as possible.”

An educational course or module was released and be viewed here. Some facts about suicide:

• Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in Canada.
• Among Canadians aged 10-24, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
• Many of those who die by suicide had a diagnosable psychiatric illness.
• Populations at an increased risk of suicide include: many Indigenous communities, youth, the elderly, inmates in correctional facilities, people with a mental illness and those who have experienced a previous suicide attempt.
• First Nations youth die by suicide about 5-6 times more often than non-Indigenous youth.
• Suicide rates for Inuit are among the highest in the world (11 times the national average).

Strong Competition Between Post-Secondary Graduates

According to The Globe and Mail, “We are living in an employer’s market. New university and college graduates are in strong competition with one another as they enter the job market. Enrolment numbers at Canada’s postsecondary institutions are rising…”

Canadian student post-secondary enrollments were at 800,000 in 1980. As of 2015, they were over two million. The needs of the job market are shifting. The number of students enrolled now “presents a considerable, often daunting challenge to organizational recruitment.”

Senior-level representatives of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce held a panel entitled “Skills for an Automated Future.” The results of the panel, according to the author of the article, show the need for training of “highly skilled employees of tomorrow and retain top-tier talent.”

Some strategies were suggested: increase opportunities for students, start a mentorship or coaching program, commit to digital literacy, allow employees to grow, and demonstrate engagement in community.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is AUSU’s VPFA. He works with various organizations, and runs In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, and In-Sight Publishing.

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