Iqaluit's learning centre
Northern News Services
Not even a fire can slow it down
NSL (Jan 25/99) - It takes more than a fire to slow Dan Page and his
students down. So when the Iqaluit Community Learning Centre's previous
location suffered serious smoke and water damage during a fire at the
Needs Convenience Store last October, the cordinator/instructor got on
the phone and found a new spot for his 25 or so students to call
While that task in itself was a tough one, considering Iqaluit's
space shortage, Page was also faced with relocating and cleaning
soot-covered computers and furniture.
"The students all pitched in and helped clean up after the fire. It
was a really nice cementing and it gave me the opportunity to get to
know the students more personally," said Page.
Now located in the Baha'i House, the new location, Page said, is more
comfortable, less institutional and helps promote learning.
Run as a community drop-in centre five days a week in the afternoons,
students work on improving their literacy levels by studying a number of
different topics. To make that learning more relevant and useful to
them, Page said he tried to relate it to their own lives.
"I try to incorporate their lives into it. We've been doing resumes
and working on helping them get their driver's licenses and there's one
student who's doing a thing on a (Geographical Point System)," said
Page. Students can work at their own pace at the centre and Page said
that some of the classes are set up so that he can spend more time with
each individual student.
And, he said, one of the most exciting parts of running the centre
was when students realized their own abilities to learn.
"Initially, there's an incredible learning curve and excitement as
they begin to learn."
Page said that excitement often leads to a plateau where the students
slowed down, but this usually means they were assessing their lives and
starting to set higher goals for themselves.
Evie Ishulutak said her goal after graduating on June 18 would be to
get a job at the Northern Store.
"I'm working on math. I've liked math since I was a girl and I'd like
to work somewhere like the Northern as a cashier," said Ishulutak.
Her classmate, Joamie Nooveya, said she was also studying math to
upgrade her skills.
"It was a subject that I never finished when I was in school. It's
not hard because we have a good teacher," said Nooveya.
Robert Aoudla, who just joined the centre, said that it was hard at
first but it's getting easier. His end goal, he said, is to upgrade his
skills and get a job as a delivery person.
"I'm working on my math and I need to learn about the computer and
get my driver's license," said Aoudla, whose brother Paul is also in the
"I've been here since last year. I came here to learn."
For more information or to join classes at the Iqaluit Community
Learning Centre, contact Dan Page at the Nunatta Campus of Nunavut
©Copyright 1999, Northern News Services