What is the equity program?
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission’s equity program is a proactive strategy for promoting equity and preventing discrimination. It is based on principles of flexibility, accessibility, expansion, innovation, and accountability. The goal of the equity program is to encourage workplaces and learning environments to mirror the make-up of the population of Saskatchewan and develop plans to support success. The four equity-seeking groups are comprised of people who identify as: Indigenous, a visible minority, having a disability, and women in underrepresented occupations.
Through the equity program, the Commission approves and supports the equity plans of employers and organizations who apply to become Equity Partners. The plans are intended to create as many opportunities for equitable practices in the workplace as possible, while keeping approval and reporting requirements focused on essential elements. Partners benefit from equity program-focused resources, education, and information sharing. For more details, see the SHRC Policy on Equity Programs.
Equity in education means:
- all students receive equality of educational benefit; and
- all students experience a supportive, inclusive learning environment.
Education is one of the essential keys to personal fulfillment and success. Education equity plans help educational institutions address the gaps, barriers, and systemic discrimination that prevent certain groups of students from receiving equal benefits from the educational system. By helping everyone achieve their full potential, education equity plans benefit the province as a whole. Education equity has an employment equity component. Educational institutions with approved plans may use preferential measures to increase their proportion of any of the equity groups for students, teaching, and non-teaching staff. Quantitative indicators of success may include graduation rates and the representation of equity group members in teaching and non-teaching positions. Qualitative indicators may include the educational experience of equity groups, or success at overcoming racism and other obstacles.
Developing a Plan
Suggestions and help for getting started can be found in Developing an Education Equity Plan in the Pre-K to 12 Educational Context. This document discusses procedural issues and some typical components or action areas of education equity plans:
- increasing the proportion of Indigenous teaching and non-teaching staff;
- increasing Indigenous content in the curriculum;
- increasing parental involvement in school activities;
- reviewing school policies and practices for bias or systemic barriers;
- providing cross-cultural and anti-racist training for teachers;
- developing anti-discrimination policies and procedures to protect both students and staff;
- improving the accessibility of learning environments;
- accommodating student needs; and
- partnership development.
Educational partners are free to add other initiatives, and are welcome to contact SHRC Education & Equity Advisors for advice on ways to develop and improve their individual plans.
Forms and Guidelines
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission provides education equity sponsors with guidelines and blank tables to help them prepare brief, annual progress reports.
- Sample Equity in Education Plan, 2012
- K-12 Reporting Guidelines, 2012
- Post Secondary Reporting Guidelines, 2012
- Reporting Guidelines for K to 12 Education Equity Plans 2007-2008
- Sponsor Tables, 2007-2008 (Excel)