ARCHIVED - Evaluation of the First Nations SchoolNet Program - Follow-up Status Update as of September 30, 2009

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Action Plan Implementation Status Update Report to the Evaluation, Performance Measurement and Review Committee - As of September 30, 2009

Education and Social Development Programs and Parnerships – Education Branch

Evaluation of the First Nations SchoolNet Program (200810)
AEC Approval Date: 26/FEB/2009

Project
Recommendations
Action Plan Expected
Completion
Date
Program
Response
1. Consider the renewal of First Nations SchoolNet in order to ensure access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and e-learning which contributes to the overall objectives for education and which supports the educational outcomes of First Nations learners. INAC Education Branch has obtained a renewal for the FNS program until March 31, 2011 at status quo funding levels. The Branch is also developing program documentation to support, on a go forward basis, access to ICT and eLearning for First Nations learners. Renewal Complete Other Documentation - September 2009 Status: Completed. Request to Close.

Update/Rationale: Renewal sought and approved December 2008 and program documentation completed (McCue Paper) September 2009.

AES Comment: File Closed
2. Explore options to ensure adequate technical support is available to First Nations SchoolNet, to maximize economies of scale. An in-depth follow up is planned to review current and future FNS requirements for technical support including: connectivity levels, help desk support, capacity building and ICT skills development. This will allow the Education Branch to develop and assess policy and programming options with the specific objective of ensuring that adequate technical support is provided to FN schools. These options will build upon and enhance IT RMO strategies in maximizing economies of scale and scope.

The resulting study will entail:
1) an environmental scan;
2) a gap analysis; and,
3) the development of options and modalities for program delivery.
Environmental Scan - July 2009

Gap Analysis - October 2009

Options - December 2009
Status: On track

Update/Rationale

Components of environmental scan and gap analysis completed:

- analysis of provincial vs. First Nation connectivity levels within schools completed August 2009.

-review of RMO proposals has also been conducted as well as stakeholder consultation (FNS National Meeting in early October).

Options: Gap analysis, additional research and options will be pulled together by next reporting period.

AES Comment: On Track
3. Integrate First Nations SchoolNet (FNS) into the overarching Education program within INAC to maximize the impact of ICT to facilitate learning. INAC Education Branch will review FNS objectives and outcomes against those of the overarching INAC Education program. The important role ICTs play for the facilitation of learning will be considered in the development of INAC's Reforming First Nations Education efforts.

An assessment related to eLearning is currently underway as a critical first step to support this work.
A Preliminary eLearning assessment is to be Completed by September 2009

Other Efforts are ongoing
Status: On track

Update/Rationale: Preliminary eLearning assessment completed Spring 2009. This work is now being reviewed to determine the way forward on an eLearning strategy that will further integrate FNS into broader INAC programming. A summary paper will be developed for March 31, 2009.

AES Comment: The broadened integration of ICT and connectivity means FNS will have more impact.
4. Develop a Performance Measurement Strategy for First Nations SchoolNet that enables the collection of relevant performance measurement data to be able to measure progress towards articulated outcomes. This strategy will need to be integrated into the broader strategy for Education as a whole. The Education Branch has begun the process of developing a Web-based Performance Measurement System for Education (PMSE) that will be a comprehensive national education information system for school/ institution-based learning in which INAC and First Nations have a shared interest and responsibility. The PMSE is intended to integrate information about all of the education programs managed by INAC, including First Nations SchoolNet.

An important part of the development of the PMSE is the early identification of relevant performance measures and corresponding data requirements for each education program, including First Nations SchoolNet.
Strategy to be Completed by January 2010, after discussion with First Nations in Fall 2009. The PMSE will be Operational in September 2011 Status: On track

Update/Rationale: Work over the summer has taken place to review FNS's current indicators. A document was also developed by AES of general indicators for ICT and education. A new logic model for FNS will be developed for Winter 2010. Indicators from the aforementioned documents and other content will be developed by Winter 2010. Content will then be refined and finalized by January 2010.

Correction: The PMSE will be operational in September 2012.

AES Comment: Indicators to be developed and integrated into an umbrella PM strategy scheduled update at EPMRC in February 2010.
5. Undertake a review of connectivity to determine whether the broader connectivity needs of First Nation communities are being met by First Nations SchoolNet, whether this is an appropriate role for the program, and whether the Federal Government has a role to play in meeting the broader connectivity needs of First Nation communities. The Education Branch has recently commenced work on a project to develop a "Connectivity Review" of First Nations communities, including schools.

In order to ensure we build on work and investments already in place, this review will be undertaken with counterparts in other directorates and branches at INAC and other OGDs to:

1. identify the organizations best fitted to address various responsibilities and accountabilities for the components involved in the delivery of the First Nations SchoolNet Program, and

2. to meet the Government's commitment to ensure adequate connectivity access and to support First Nations schools.
Ongoing September 2009 Status: On track

Update/Rationale:

In consultation with First Nations groups, Industry Canada and Infrastructure Canada, a broadband mapping exercise was completed for First Nations, Inuit and Northern communities. The results of this exercise were included in a July 2009 announcement by the Prime Minister on broadband investments.

This piece will inform the development of the recommended connectivity review, the OPI of which is Community Infrastructure.
 
 
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