Historic graduation for Ulukhaktok high school students accepted to university for 1st time

Historic graduation for Ulukhaktok high school students accepted to university for 1st time
From CBC - April 17, 2018

School ends in about two months, and for the community of Ulukhaktok, N.W.T., this year's graduation will be historic.

For the first time in the community's history, three students from Helen Kalvak Elihakvik School are graduatingwith the required university-level credits neededto pursue their post-secondary education and two of them have already been accepted.

"I always hoped that I would at least go to college or university, but actually being in the process, getting accepted and applying for residence, is just making it more real," said 17-year-old Matt Kanayok, who has been accepted to Vancouver Island University.

"I am just super excited."

Kanayok joinsNadine Kuneluk and Jacob Klengenbergin reaching this milestone.

The Grade 12 students said growing up in the hamlet, going to university was not something that was often talked about.

Ulukhaktokis an isolated hamlet on the coast of the Arctic Ocean with a population of about 400 people.Generally, schools in isolated, northern communities such as Ulukhaktok do not have the resources to offer all of the classes required for post-secondary education.

The expansion of E-learning in the North

About eight years ago, the Beaufort Delta Education Council came up with a pilot project that allowed one student in the hamlet of Fort McPherson to take classes at Inuvik's East Three Secondary School via teleconference.

That program is now called the Northern Distance Learning Program, also referred to as E-learning, where students connect with a teacher in Inuvik, and other classmates in the territory, through a giant screen, hundreds of kilometres away from each other. The program has now expanded to seven different communitiesInuvik,Tuktoyaktuk,Aklavik, Fort McPherson,Ulukhaktok, FortLiard, Fort Resolution andFort Good Hope.

"We have seen a lot of these students start Grade 10 very shy, withdrawn, not quite sure what they are getting themselves into to these brimming with confidence, self-identified success stories," said Gene Jenks, principal of East Three School.

Before the E-learning program, students who wanted to take classes required for universitywould either have move away from their community and become home-boarding students, or do independent study where students teach themselves withgiven the course material.

Plans to join RCMP after college


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