Condition of community learning centres a ‘sad state of affairs,’ says MLA

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The community learning centres in Sanikiluaq and Gjoa Haven need to be replaced, MLAs representing those communities say.

Hudson Bay MLA Allan Rumbolt: Community learning centre lease in Sanikiluaq expires in four months with no known alternative.
photo courtesy of the Government of Nunavut

“There’s a sad state of affairs for our community learning centres in our communities,” Allan Rumbolt, Hudson Bay MLA, said in the legislative assembly on Feb. 27.

The lease on the community learning centre in Sanikiluaq, located in Nuiyak School, expires in four months, Rumbolt said, adding that he’s been raising the need for a new location since December 2017.

Patterk Netser, minister responsible for Nunavut Arctic College, said he hadn’t been briefed on the status of things in Sanikiluaq so he’d respond at a later time.

In Gjoa Haven, the floor of the structure housing the community learning centre has collapsed.

Gjoa Haven MLA Tony Akoak: Building that houses community learning centre in Gjoa Haven is “unusable.” photo courtesy of the Government of Nunavut

“The building is unusable,” said MLA Tony Akoak.

Netser replied that the old nursing station in Gjoa Haven is consequently being used as an alternative.

Akoak and Rumbolt asked Netser to visit their communities and to commit to replacing the community learning centres in each location. Netser declined to make such a commitment, stating that an assessment of the buildings is taking place.

“The continued delivery of adult education and training programs is critical to promoting employment and self-reliance in our community,” Rumbolt said. “Sanikiluaq residents have a right to learn and to improve their career options.”

Akoak expressed similar sentiment.

“It seems that nothing concrete is actually being done,” he said. “Meanwhile program delivery is being affected and my constituents are losing opportunities to develop their skills in order to get jobs.”

In Kugluktuk, the community learning centre has been closed since the beginning of the year and staffing turnover may be source of the problem, said MLA Mila Kamingoak.

Although Netser said he wasn’t familiar with the exact circumstances in Kugluktuk, he said he’s in favour of finding permanent college staff instead of relying on contractors, which is often the current practice.