The number of Indigenous students graduating high school in B.C. went up by four per cent last year, the largest increase in nearly a decade.
In the 2017/18 school year, the graduation rate for Indigenous students grew to 70 per cent, the education ministry said Tuesday.
It represents an eight per cent improvement over the past four years.
The graduation rate measures how many students complete high school within six years. The overall graduation rate for B.C. public school students is 86 per cent
Indigenous students being cared for by the Ministry of Children and Family Development graduated at a 58 per cent rate last year, an eight per cent increase over the year prior.
Indigenous kids, who make up 11 per cent of B.C’s students, received about $74 million in provincial funding each year.
“For too long, Indigenous students in B.C. were held back by a school system that didn’t reflect their history, honour their communities or meet their needs,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming.
“It’s inspiring to see how quickly Indigenous students respond when we begin to bring down barriers to their success. Their achievements are an important reminder of why we can’t rest until our schools support every student, no matter where they live.”
The province has approved 17 Indigenous languages to be taught as part of B.C.’s curriculum, and six more are in the process of being approved.