High school graduation rates are on the rise, but not nearly at the rate the province and the Provincial Auditor would like to see. The rate for graduating in three years a decade ago was 72.3 per cent and last year it was at 77.4.
Provincial Auditor, Judy Ferguson, says the government announced in 2012 the goal of a 4 per cent increase yearly, working towards an 85 per cent high school graduation rate by 2020, and a 90 per cent rate for those who took up to five years to graduate.
Comparing numbers between First Nations and non-First Nations indicates an obvious issue, with three year grad rates for First Nations students at 44.5 per cent and non-First Nations at 86.5 per cent. If you look at the numbers a different way though, the number of Indigenous graduates has increased by 58 per cent from 1,550 in 2009 to 2,446 last year.
Ferguson understands the Education Ministry works with the 28 school divisions, but would like the government to have a closer look at each division to see what is being done and whether it’s enough, because some divisions have more challenges than others.
Bottom line, Ferguson says, is increasing high school graduation rates is key for the students and it’s key for Saskatchewan’s economic development.