On average of B.C.’s 60 school districts, 80 per cent of students are completing high school. (Black Press files)

B.C. high school completion rate continues to rise

Big improvement in graduation over 10 years despite teacher turmoil

New data from the B.C. education ministry show the average high school completion rate continued its slow improvement last year, with 84 per cent of students getting their diplomas within six years.

The average completion rate has climbed by more than five per cent in the past 10 years, despite the teacher strikes and political turmoil that have disrupted B.C.’s public education system during that time.

Students designated as having special needs have also closed the gap in high school completion, up 2.4 per cent to 69.4 per cent in 2016-17 compared to the previous year. Over the past 10 years, special needs completion rates have improved more than 25 per cent.

The completion rate for indigenous students showed a similar improvement, up 2.1 per cent in 2016-17 compared to the previous school year. Indigenous high school completion is up to 65.9 per cent, an increase of 19 per cent in the past 10 years.

While there has been a steady stream of labour disputes, legal action and claims of under-funding in the B.C. school system during the decade, and a scramble to hire thousands of teachers after a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada on teacher bargaining last year, student achievement has led the country and the world.

RELATED: B.C. schools brace for more students, teachers

According to the ministry’s website, B.C. student achievement is the highest of all Canadian provinces, with only Finland and Japan finishing ahead of B.C. in international rankings.

In a 2014 report on education performance by the Conference Board of Canada, B.C. students had the highest average reading literacy rate in Canada, and were recognized as one of the top seven jurisdictions in the world.

Just Posted

Vernon police investigating sudden death near The Rise

Woman, 37, found unresponsive in home early on March 15; taken to hospital where she died

Keeping the Okanagan on the Federal Radar

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr’s column

Reel Reviews: Fear or love

We say, “Once again, one worth seeing, one not.”

Two people safe after falling through ice

Kelowna Fire Department urges caution around icy waters during warm weather

Missing Kelowna woman sought

RCMP are asking for assistance in locating Christine Olsen-Meissnitzer

Your March 19 Morning Brief

Check out the top stories of the day in the Okanagan-Shuswap with Carmen Weld’s Black Press Morning Brief.

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

B.C. hospitals receive boost for dental surgery

Disabled people needing general anesthetic wait too long, Adrian Dix says

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild on the ropes and Smoke Eaters reeling

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Ex-Rockets and Alberta golden at nationals

Tyson Baillie and Cole Linaker help the Golden Bears to U SPORTS hockey title in New Brunswick

The Young’Uns member searching for stolen equipment

Kelowna - Tim Reardon said band equipment was stolen from his home outside of Lumby

True Leaf Announces Cannabis Cultivation Team

“Experts in genetics will lead the development of high-quality medicinal cannabis products,”

Heat drops two at nationals, Lea an all-Canadian

UBC Okanagan come up short at U SPORTS women’s volleyball finals in Quebec City

Most Read