$0 for Technology
Awareness-building Campaign on First Nations Education
Ever since the creation of First Nations schools, AANDC has omitted to include Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in its band schools funding formula. Remember that this formula was developed in 1988. It was changed superficially until 1996, and since then it has never been touched, neither in order to be indexed to the cost of living, nor to allow schools to absorb the new costs that technological developments have made necessary.
AANDC cannot claim that when the funding formula was drawn up in 1988, the world of education wasn’t yet making use of ICT, as these were introduced to Quebec schools at the beginning of the 1980s. Two 1983 opinions written by the Conseil supérieur de l’éducation on the subject exist as proof of this. The FNEC archives are also full of correspondence, which dates mostly from the beginning of the 1990s, requesting funding to purchase equipment and technology for their schools. Almost twenty years later, their requests are still going unanswered …
In fact, AANDC’s funding formula grants ZERO DOLLARS to band schools for the purchase of computers, technical support and teacher training.
Schools must use the resources of other services to meet the pedagogical requirements of Canadian schools. AANDC is fully aware of how essential technologies have become in student learning today. At least 50% of First Nations students are having difficulty in school. Their schools use any means possible to maintain their interest in studies, especially using technologies. AANDC’s funding formula, however, significantly limits their efforts.
First Nations are asking no more and no less than being allowed to benefit from a quality education that is comparable to that of other Canadian citizens. Quality, however, does not come about on its own. It needs the investment of sufficient resources.