Will Nunavut's high school graduation rates improve?

Every year, about 200 students graduate from high school in Nunavut, and the territorial government is hoping to up that number by making sure students go to class.

Territorial government is hoping to get more students to go to class in an effort to improve rates

The territorial government hopes to up the rates by getting more students to go to class 2:09

It's a proud week for high school students in Nunavut, where more than 200 people will cross the podium, set for post-secondary education or for the work force.

The territory hopes the number of high school graduates will go up by getting more students to show up to class, a challenge facing many teachers in Nunavut.

"It's crucial for our students to be at school every day," said Paul Quassa, Nunavut's minister of education. "And to be in school every day, you will graduate and that is one of the important messages that I would like to give to all our students."

Education opens the doors for you in life.- Pakak Picco, Inukshuk High School graduate

Statistics from 2012 show attendance rates at Nunavut schools range from a high of 91 per cent at Iqaluit's EcoleTroisSoleils, to a low of 46 per cent at Cape Dorset's Peter Pitseolak School.

Overall, student attendance is about 71 per cent.

Pakak Picco, who, along with about 40 others, graduates from Inukshuk High School in Iqaluit Saturday, has words of encouragement for those who struggle to motivate themselves to go to school. He says it starts with not giving up. 

"Don't quit. Keep trying as hard as you can. Education opens the doors for you in life. You need education to get a good job."

Quassa says parent involvement is the key to keeping students in school and graduating. 

He says the Department of Education continues to monitor attendance and graduation rates closely, but plans to have a better monitoring system for September 2014.