UPEI, gov­ern­ment of Nu­navut of­fer­ing first grad­u­ate-level course taught in Inuk­ti­tut

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND -

UPEI’s Fac­ulty of Ed­u­ca­tion is part­ner­ing with the gov­ern­ment of Nu­navut’s depart­ment of ed­u­ca­tion to of­fer the first grad­u­ate-level course to be taught ex­clu­sively in the Inuk­ti­tut lan­guage.

ED512 ed­u­ca­tional lead­er­ship: en­gag­ing Nu­navut par­ents, el­ders and com­mu­nity fo­cuses on the de­vel­op­ment of col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ships, pos­i­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion and em­pow­er­ment of par­ents, el­ders and com­mu­nity mem­bers who lead, sup­port and guide ed­u­ca­tion in Nu­navut.

The course, which is of­fered in Iqaluit, pro­motes col­lab­o­ra­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion among the mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who sup­port and guide ed­u­ca­tion in the area, said Paul Quassa, Nu­navut’s min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion.

“We are also ex­cited for the op­por­tu­nity this course pro­vides for stu­dents; ac­cess­ing post-sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion in Inuk­ti­tut is a nec­es­sary step in keep­ing the Inuit lan­guage alive.”

ED512 is one of five cour­ses of­fered by UPEI and the depart­ment that make up the cur­ricu­lum for the cer­tifi­cate in ed­u­ca­tional lead­er­ship (Nu­navut), also known as CELN.

This is a note­wor­thy and ex­cit­ing mo­ment for ed­u­ca­tion in Nu­navut, said Re­becca Hainnu, one of the in­struc­tors of the ED512 course.

“This cer­tifi­cate will con­trib­ute to Inuit ed­u­ca­tors us­ing Inuk­ti­tut as a lan­guage of in­struc­tion.”

Jane Pre­ston, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor in the Fac­ulty of Ed­u­ca­tion at UPEI and the aca­demic lead for CELN, said the pro­gram pro­vides ed­u­ca­tors with the his­tory, knowl­edge, at­ti­tudes and skills that em­body cul­tur­ally­based, ef­fec­tive school lead­er­ship.

En­com­pass­ing the unique lan­guage, cul­ture and spe­cial­ized knowl­edge of Inuit, the cer­tifi­cate is earned by com­plet­ing five cour­ses per­tain­ing to ef­fec­tive school lead­er­ship in a Nu­navut con­text.”

UPEI’s Fac­ulty of Ed­u­ca­tion has a long his­tory work­ing with ed­u­ca­tors in Nu­navut. In July of 2009, 21 Inuit women were con­ferred with the Nu­navut mas­ter of ed­u­ca­tion in lead­er­ship and learn­ing—the first grad­u­ate pro­gram of­fered ex­clu­sively in the ter­ri­tory. The pro­gram was of­fered in part­ner­ship with Nu­navut’s Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, St. Francis Xavier Univer­sity and Nu­navut Arc­tic Col­lege. UPEI pre­vi­ously ran a pi­lot grad­u­atelevel course in Inuk­ti­tut a few years ago, and while it did not con­tinue, it did lay im­por­tant ground­work for this course within the CELN pro­gram.

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