Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, thanks to the work of the Minister's Forum on Education, the challenges facing our education system have been receiving a fairly high profile recently. As I have stated in this House, the issues raised in the forum report will be addressed to the extent that we can, within the current financial situation. We are looking at improvements now and in the future. As we work to improve the state of education, Mr. Speaker, I wanted to bring a historical perspective of being involved in some way with education in the north since I was a young boy travelling by bus and DC3 to Fort Smith from Rae in the early 1960s. In the past 35 years there have been huge improvements in the quality of education and in the level of community control over education for their children. People are more aware and more involved in education and, as we saw with the Minister's forum, feel free to express their thoughts on what could be improved.
We have seen dramatic improvement in key success indicators. The number of graduates is up significantly. More students than ever are staying in school and completing more grades. More students than ever can stay at home to complete their schooling, which helps to maintain the support system of family and friends. Many people are furthering their education through Aurora College and preparing for the job opportunities around them. Adult basic education classes are full of people coming back to finish their education.
Mr. Speaker, there is no question there are serious issues to deal with in education. However, while we work to deal with these issues we cannot lose sight of the good work that is being done and has been done by many dedicated staff and parents. We cannot lose sight of the fact that, thanks to the Education Act passed in 1995, local education authorities have significant opportunities to tailor the delivery of education to best meet local needs.
As we try to make our education system even better, let us remember how far we have come and the tremendous potential we have to go even further, thanks to the dedication of students, parents, teachers and the many other individuals involved with education in the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.