Some classes at Chesterfield Inlet school cancelled due to Nunavut's substitute teacher shortage

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Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut, a community of about 440 people, sits on the western shores of Hudson Bay. (CBC - image credit)
Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut, a community of about 440 people, sits on the western shores of Hudson Bay. (CBC - image credit)

Some classes at Victor Sammurtok School in Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut, have been cancelled as the school navigates a shortage of substitute teachers.

Nunavut's Department of Education confirmed Monday there is one vacant teaching position at the school, and two school staff are on leave. Those temporary vacancies would normally be filled by substitute teachers, but the department noted there have been "challenges" in finding substitutes.

"It can be difficult to find substitute teachers in many communities, and Chesterfield Inlet is currently experiencing this," the department stated.

It added staff vacancies throughout the school year are not unusual.

Earlier this month, Doug Workman, chair of the Iqaluit District Education Authority (DEA) and vice chairperson of the Coalition of Nunavut DEAs, told CBC getting substitute teachers in Nunavut is "almost impossible".

Workman said understaffed schools may ask people who aren't teachers, like the learning coach, or even the principal, to teach, or students might be grouped into larger classes.

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