Nunavut Arctic College – Northern Adult Basic Education (ABE)
Nunavut Arctic College’s Adult Basic Education (ABE) program includes six (6) levels of study ranging from basic literacy to coursework at the Grade 12 level. Courses in this program enable participants to learn or re-learn skills needed to meet employment, personal or educational goals. Participants in ABE engage in a program of study according to their personal needs and academic levels. Because of this, time spent in the program varies for each individual. Participants often enroll in the program as a first step to entering a Certificate or Diploma Program. Learners may take ABE courses on a full or part-time basis.
The ABE is offered in 25 communities in Nunavut through Nunavut Arctic College’s Community Learning Centres.
Pascale Essebou, Nunavut Arctic College
Box 600 Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0
Since 2011, 1888 learners have participated in the ABE program. The average number of participants equals 270 per year.
Goals of the program:
1. Increase the number of adult learners in Nunavut
2. Support learners to achieve their employment/educational goals
3. Improve on line learning capacity within the Territory
4. Hire additional educators and increase professional development and training opportunities for ABE instructors
• Have increased adult learner numbers in Nunavut – total of 1,888 learners participating in ABE since 2011, average number of 270 participating learners each year in ABE program
• Participant completion rate of 67%
• 75% of participants who successfully completed the program found employment (short term employment before returning to school and/or long term employment) ; Majority of learners who found work were employed in the Trades, Mining, Local Government and Retail sectors.
• Inuktitut Literacy and cultural materials and learning resources for adults are produced to improve first language outcomes and a strong foundation for improved English Literacy skills as second language
• Changes in participant’s lives: greater self- confident, stronger belief in their capacity to achieve their goals; Increased and expanded their educational goals and plans.
• ABE is online – up and running in 25 communities – built capacity among staff and trained instructors , learners to use the platform. The course provides synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities to accurately model online learning.
• 13 to 16 additional instructors are hired each year.
• Identifying the need of local learners in each of the participating communities
• Developing materials and learning methodologies appropriate to the local community context and local learners specific needs
• Marketing the program and distinguishing it from other Nunavut Arctic College Adult Education and ES programming.
• Personal issues
• Health issues
• Attendance issues
• Ensure instructors have the skills to work with colleagues, learners, and Elders
• Ensure to include Elders into programming – they have the expertise in traditional knowledge and can offer learners counselling and support
• Ongoing professional development for staff is essential to their understanding and successful delivery of the program
Here are a few thoughts on the various NABE resources developed by Inhabit Media Inc. “The NABE program has allowed Nunavut Arctic College to develop unique resources that celebrate Inuit culture and language. These resources could only be developed in Nunavut for Nunavummiut, and the attention to cultural details, and support for rich Inuktitut instruction is model for future resource development.” – Neil Christopher, Managing Partner Inhabit Media Inc.
Incorporation of Essential Skills
ABE addressed 12 Essential Skills – the nine listed above plus Inuktitut Literacy, Creating and Nurturing Personal Health and Inuit Qaujimaningit (Inuit Societal Values). ABE applies an integrated approach to all 12 Essential skills addressed with an emphasis on Numeracy, Document Use, Writing and Reading Text. The integrated curriculum gives equal weight to Inuktitut Literacy and other cultural topics such as Inuit cultural history. The Essential skills are integrated throughout the entire curriculum.
ABE uses two assessment processes
• Practice session: during this session learners use an ES self-assessment tool. Results are then reviewed and discussed individually with an ABE instructor.
• Formal Exam: Learners take a formal exam that integrates all the essential skills addressed in the program. While the exam takes an integrated approach results can be differentiated for each of the essential skills tested.
Learners take these exams twice (end of first semester and end of second semester). Evaluation progression is done to assess Reading, Writing, Numeracy and Document use skills.
ABE includes courses in Inuktitut literacy, Knowledge of Inuit Inuit Qaujimaningit and Inuit history, (pre and post colonialism). Elders are involved in the delivery of the program and traditional and cultural activities are integrated throughout the curriculum.
Examples of cultural activities:
Sealskin Mitten making
Astronomy for CF students
Carving (Inuit Art)
Stories: qammaq & Qulliq
Distant and recent past
Duffle socks & Embroidery
Community walk & tea
Story Telling / Museum walk
Tundra walk / Berry picking
Bannock & Reindeer stew
Recipe (traditional. words & expressions)
Interpersonal skills – able to communicate and collaborate with learners and colleagues
Able to provide quality instruction – expertise in Adult education and traditional learning methodology
Able to select appropriate materials to meet learners individualized needs
Have knowledge of and able to incorporate community resources into the program
All staff need flexibility: able to adapt program and curriculum to meet learners’ needs
Administrative staff need to be creative and show initiative; able to incorporate new technology and resources into the program
Administrative staff needs to have good communication skills ask the right questions, active listen and provide constructive feedback.
• Department of Family Services (provides funding for the learners through Adult Learning and Training Supports)
• Kakivak Association (provides funding to learners)
• Career Development Officers
• Income Assistance Workers
• Department of Family Services (funds the G.R.E.A.T.) program)
• Baffinland (Funded the Pre-Trades program)
• Local Elders
• Traditional Knowledge Experts
• Subject Matters Experts (Guest Speakers)
• Inhabit Education
• Atiigo Media
• Grass Roots Press
• Arctic Willow