Adult literacy program postponed in Lutselk'e, no building
'We are beginning to investigate other programs that might not require formal classrooms space'
Staff at Aurora College are brainstorming new ways to deliver adult education in Lutselk'e, after learning the Community Learning Centre will be used to house high school students for up to two years.
The N.W.T.'s department of education started using Aurora College's Community Learning Centre for elementary students after Lutsel K'e Dene School was evacuated due to mould on Thursday, Sept. 8.
"I was pleased we could offer the space, have furniture available, computers available, so that the school was able to quickly set up and have students back in class by the Monday," said the president of Aurora College, Jane Arychuk.
"At that time we didn't know exactly a time line, but we just wanted a space for [Kindergarten] to Grade 6 students," she added.
'We are beginning to investigate other programs'
Elementary students are scheduled to move out of the Community Learning Centre and back into the school on Tuesday, Oct. 11 — but the centre will continue to serve as a classroom for young people.
High school students — who have been attending classes at the Denesuline Corporation as well at the old Aurora College building because of school renovations — will be moved into the Community Learning Centre.
That's according to an email circulated to the community on Sept. 26, from the territorial government's assistant deputy minister of education and culture, Rita Mueller.
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Arychuk said the territorial government has notified her of that plan, and advised her that the high school students could be in the building for the duration of two-year school renovation project.
"We are beginning to investigate other programs that might not require formal classrooms space," said Arychuk.
Could offer 'something that is more hands-on'
Aurora College offers a variety of six-week "adult literacy and essential skills programs," in each of the N.W.T.'s 23 communities.
While Arychuk acknowledged those courses are "important to people who are looking for skills to get them into the workplace, and get them into the economy," she said there are other types of courses the college could explore.
"Some kind of introductory trades courses, something that is more hands-on that might need a different kind of setting than sitting at a desk in a classroom."
But nothing is set in stone, and Arychuk wants the community to have input.
She said Aurora College staff are planning to visit Lutselk'e to "talk to the community about what they see as possibilities for adult education...that might not actually require a classroom setting to be taught in."
The College was scheduled to deliver 'Introduction to Office Skills', a literacy and essential skills course, in November, but has "temporarily postponed" it.
Arychuk said the territorial government has not offered Aurora College an alternative space at this time, nor has the College requested one.