Classes could start later than expected for some students in six communities due to teacher shortages. The bulk of the 66.5 teaching vacancies that the Government of Nunavut still had to fill as of Aug. 15 exist in Arctic Bay, Cape Dorset, Clyde River, Iglulik, Iqaluit and Kimmirut, according to Heather Moffett, the Department of Education’s director of corporate services.

The territorial government had 66.5 teaching positions to fill as of Aug. 15.
Pixabay photo

“These communities may experience some disruption for students but all schools are working diligently to mitigate those effects,” Moffett stated. “The department understands any delays for students due to a lack of staffing will be frustrating for parents but we will be asking that the public understand this is a last resort and the principal and other school staff need the support of the community to handle the shortage.

“Any of those identified communities who will have a delay to the start of the school year for some students will be communicated at the community level. We are still staffing positions so the plans change rapidly as new hires are found either within or external to the community.”

By comparison, Nunavut had 58 teaching vacancies as of Sept. 1, 2017. Nineteen of those teachers were never found, some of them due to a lack of available housing, Moffett noted. Another 14 teachers resigned over the course of the school year.

The majority of provinces and territories are struggling to fill positions due to a shortage within the profession, according to Moffett.

“We will continue to work with our partners to implement a long-term recruitment strategy to make the teaching profession more attractive and accessible to Inuit,” she said.

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Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...