Persévérance scolaire des jeunes autochtones

Students retention determinants : a holistic approach

9 October 2015

The Fonds pour la persévérance scolaire des jeunes autochtones (FPSJA) mandated the researcher Natasha Blanchet-Cohen, from Concordia University, to evaluate 22 projects funded by the FPSJA. The impacts have been identified and thus, increased the knowledge and strategies to be adopted by the organisations to facilitate aboriginal students school persistence.

The second dimension covered by the report is the school persistence determinants for aboriginal youth. An aspect the evaluation revealed is the relevance of a socio-educative environment to support and enhance aboriginal youth school persistence.

Our character Tamina, from the previous article, live in an environment that does not answer to her need to succeed in school. There is no library in her community. She would appreciate to have a quiet place to do her homework, but her three young brother and her sister make a lot of noise and do not allow her to concentrate and study at home. She travel 90 minutes each morning and afternoon to go to high school in the nearest town. Her parents perceive education as a necessary evil and do not really care about her academic success. Jimmy, the school psycho-educator supports Tamina. She has started a process that will help get ownership of her educational path; Jimmy helps her to find her own solutions to succeed.

She is not aware that her life is about to change. The educative committee of her community has received the funding to expand the community center to create a study room for the youth. They will also have a small book shelve filled with books by the nearest town library and academic books from school. Tamina will now have a quiet place to study and do her homework.

The evaluation report underlined the importance of the personal factors in aboriginal youth educative success. Other than accompanying the students in owning their learning process and school engagement, a socio-economic and family environments that support learning are essential to favor the aboriginal students educational success.

The promoters of school persistence projects have targeted proactive actions that contributed to create a real school-family-community environment that supports learning and school persistence for aboriginal youth. It has been the case of the Wôlinak community.

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During the next few weeks, other articles will be published and talk about management and accompaniment of the project, partnerships, reinforcement of local capacities and durability of the projects.

Visit the web page « Projects Evaluation» to download the evaluation report and learn more about project Wolinak and other projects that contributed to reinforce determinants of aboriginal youth school persistence.