Iqaluit, Nunavut (May 15, 2023) – The Department of Education is piloting a project to test the feasibility of implementing a full-day kindergarten program in Nunavut.
Nanook School (Apex), Victor Sammurtok School (Chesterfield Inlet), Qaqqalik School (Kimmirut), Jimmy Hikok Ilihakvik (Kugluktuk), and Inuglak School (Whale Cove) will be running a full-day kindergarten pilot starting this fall.
These schools were chosen for the pilot based on the amount of capital renovations each would need to support the program and to represent each region.
Minister of Education Pamela Hakongak Gross, along with Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu MLA and Premier P.J. Akeeagok, Coalition of Nunavut DEAs and Apex District Education Authority members met at Nanook School in Apex earlier this month to see recent renovations made to support full-day kindergarten.
“We believe in the value of offering full-day kindergarten to support development and early language acquisition for our students, and to increase the options and opportunities for working parents and families,” said Minister Gross. “It was great to see kindergarten students at Nanook School drawing Inuktitut syllabics during our visit using one of the many Inuktut resources available.”
The purpose of the pilot project includes confirming departmental resources needed to support a full-day kindergarten program, testing of the program, learning how the program stands up to real-life scenarios, making improvements to the program prior to full roll-out, and ensuring buy-in from relevant stakeholders. In the longer term, the department will also be looking at the impact of the full-day kindergarten program on Inuktut language acquisition and early years language learning.
The success of the full-day kindergarten pilot will be measured through feedback from educators and families. This feedback will determine if there will be a phased roll-out of full-day kindergarten across the territory.