Established in 1990 and originally sponsored by Eskasoni Economic Development, the Unama’ki Training and Education Centre began as an adult upgrading facility. In 1993, the alternative grade nine program was introduced, and eventually the alternative program was expanded to include secondary students from grades ten to twelve. Today TEC comes under the jurisdiction of the Eskasoni School Board, and we continue to offer adult, pre-ten and alternative high school programming.
Over its lifetime, TEC has moved five times. Our first home was the old Eskasoni School (since torn down), next we were housed at the Eskasoni Band Office, the third location was the building on Minimall Drive, which we shared with Eskasoni Fisheries. The fourth location was the building on Richard Avenue, currently the site of the new ESK Immersion school, and our final location is the former Daycare building located on shore road.
Our new facility is located on shore road overlooking the beautiful Bras d’Or Lake.It includes two classrooms, a combination staff-student lunch room with kitchen facilities, an office. We also have a lounge – this space was furnished and dedicated to our students by Mi’kmaq Family and Community Healing. Our staff includes an Adult Learning Program coordinator/teacher and Unama’ki Training and Education Centre Coordinator/teacher as well as one teacher’s Aid and one janitor. We also have a math tutor come in once a week.
Our secondary program follows the Nova Scotia Department of Education curriculum guidelines with appropriate adaptations and modifications for at-risk students. In addition to pre-10 program, we offer a grades nine to twelve to struggling students over the age of sixteen based on need. This one semester program offers non-credit remedial courses in math and English Language Arts, in addition to two grade ten credit courses such as Learning Strategies and Mi’kmaq Studies. Successful students are then placed in the regular grade ten program the following semester.
Grade nine and secondary students are directed to our facility through guidance/administration recommendations from the Eskasoni Elementary and Middle School and the Chief Allison Bernard Memorial High School, at the request of parents or guardians, and by self-referral.
Our adult program offers academic upgrading courses utilizing the Adult Learning Program curriculum developed by the NS Department of Education, Skills and Learning Branch. We offer both ALP Level II and Level III classes this year. After successful completion of these programs, the goal of the majority of our adult students is to enroll in the ALP Level IV program offered at the Marconi Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College. ALP Level IV completion is equivalent to a high school diploma.
Our School works closely with other community organizations in order to offer our students enhanced services. Some of these include Mi’kmaq Family and Community Healing, Literacy Nova Scotia, RCMP School Liason, Addiction Services, NSCC Marconi Campus and NADACA (Native Alcohol and Drug).
Organizations such Cape Breton University, Eskasoni Economic Development, and Nova Scotia Community College are able to use our facility for their evening and weekend programs.
Graduates from our school include an elementary school principal, registered nurses, teachers, environmental technicians, university and community college students and many others. There are few families in Eskasoni whose lives have not been touched by the Unama’ki Training and Education Centre