Greetings Members,

With another school year coming to a close across Nunavut, I want to take the

opportunity to thank you for your dedication and hard work with our students and



During this school year there were many occasions where the systemic failings of the

education system in Nunavut were highlighted. It began with many of our schools being

shorthanded because the Department has neither a recruitment or retention strategy of any

value that would promote our profession to our high school or NTEP graduates. The

government has also failed in providing the needed supports and incentives required for

current teachers to stop the annual attrition rates of between 30-40%, leaving our schools with

massive turnover in staff each year. Bilingual education from K to 12, an urgent need in

Nunavut, has suffered from the failure to complete an in-depth NTEP review, promote NTEP to

students, and support new teachers in our system. The Department’s response? Further push

back lnuktut education goals (Bill 25) with no plans in place on how to reach them, and contract

most of their responsibilities to outside of Nunavut contracting firms like DPRA. The Auditor

General’s recent report on the failings of the government in supporting adult education and

high school graduates represents that the Department of Education’s reorganization initiative,

better described as an exercise in centralizing control and authority of education at Department

headquarters in Iqaluit, has been an abject disaster.


It would be easy to be depressed and pessimistic if we just looked at the Department

and media reports. The reality however is that despite these systemic failings, we teachers are

still accomplishing amazing things in our classrooms and schools every day. I was recently

speaking with a reporter on many of the systemic issues in Nunavut’s education system and

was asked how I remain so positive. I answered that you, our teachers, and our resilient

students should be the focus of education. Sometimes there’s so much of a focus on the

smaller dark spots that we fail to see the larger light surrounding it. What’s happening in our

classrooms and schools every day, that’s the light we should focus on. I’m proud to call myself

a fellow teacher and colleague to you all, and we should all be proud of the supportive and

caring environment we provide to our communities’ children as they progress in their

educational and social development.


I hope everyone reading this enjoys their well-earned summer break. Take the time to

rest, recharge our batteries, and please reflect on the great work you have done this year. We,

the teachers, are education in Nunavut, and if we maintain our positive thinking and

commitment to our students, then we are making a difference every day.

Thank you for your service to our students and our communities.


John Fanjoy


Nunavut Teachers’ Association