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

Plane lands safely after takeoff issue

An airplane departing Kelowna International Airport had an issue with a landing gear, landed safely

KSS rocks and rolls for 37th straight year

Kelowna secondary students let loose with annual Air Bank competition

YMCA launches teen program for mental health

Starting April 5, the Kelowna Family Y will host its first run of Mind Fit

Kelowna’s Community Calendar

Check out some upcoming events, or add your own event to our community calendar

Sunday Fiction: My father through my own eyes

Kelowna columnist William Peckham writes a monthly fiction column for the Capital News

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

Cancer fundraiser takes to Okanagan Lake

Penticton and Naramata joining growing fundraising event

Elke’s Garden Tips: Good time to prepare

Lake Country garden columnist talks about what to do at this time of the year

Letter: Crying fowl over goose cull witness

Kelowna letter-writer says Canada geese come with many issues

Letter: I was born in Kelowna in 1930…

Kelowna letter-writer has some ideas on how things should run nowadays

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Most Read