Potential impacts of COVID-19 on NWT education

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has released a report that provides insight into the ways the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected student success and the education system in the Northwest Territories (NWT).

Since March 2020, there has been significant disruption to educational instruction around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As part of its regular data collection, the GNWT measures a number of Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 (JK-12) student outcomes, which provide potential insight into the impacts of COVID-19 on the education system. These include annual developmental surveys completed by Kindergarten, Grade 4 and Grade 7 students, high school graduation rates, school closure data, and the number of NWT educators.

The pandemic was a significant disrupter to the education system as a whole. The shift to remote learning, the limitations to connect with one’s community and engage in after-school programming has had a negative impact on the well-being and academic experiences for many students. 

In the coming years, the GNWT anticipates that grades, test results, and graduation rates will be lower than in pre-pandemic years. Further research will be required to provide a more comprehensive analysis of the impact of the pandemic on the education system.

In addition to the indicators noted in the report, the GNWT will closely monitor the needs of NWT students using existing wellness data, referrals for school-based mental health and wellness services, academic progress reports provided by education bodies, and attendance rates.

While there is not a single solution to the challenges students may face as a result of school closures and inconsistencies in learning during the pandemic, the GNWT provides a multitude of resources and programs that can help.

Available Supports and Resources:

  • Counselling and wellness supports for students and school staff
  • Career and Education Advisors: these advisors work with grades 9 –12. CEAs provide practical support, including how to write resumes and cover letters and how to complete applications for work, post-secondary programs, Student Financial Assistance, bursaries, grants or scholarships. If you / your child have questions about whether post-secondary institutes are adjusting their acceptance criteria in response to COVID for the upcoming school year, please discuss this with your CEA.
  • Child and Youth Counsellors: these counsellors work within schools that have a student population of 75 or more, to support student needs. The is a joint initiative between ECE and HSS.
  • Inclusive Schooling: Inclusive Schooling is a foundation of education in the NWT, which means that every student follows educational programming that is appropriate for them. Students must be provided access to the necessary supports that best meet their diverse and individual needs, which may include accommodations, modifications or individualized programming and plans.
  • Educational resources: If your child is struggling with academics we encourage you to discuss the challenges with their teacher.