SASKATOON -- The provincial government's plan for improving graduation rates for Indigenous students isn't working, says Patrick Maze, president of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation.

"It is unacceptable that the education gap remains so large. It’s time to do more," he said in a news release Friday.

Recent data from the education ministry shows the 2019 three-year graduation rate for Indigenous students dropped to 43.4 percent from 44.5 percent, the STF said.

"First Nations students continue to face barriers and obstacles that prevent them from reaching their full potential in school," FSIN Vice-Chief David Pratt said in the release.

The overall three-year graduation rate sits at 77.3 per cent, down from 77.4 per cent, according to the STF.

The graduation rate for Indigenous students increased to 61 per cent from 59.4 per cent compared to an overall five-year graduation rate of 84.7 per cent.

"Government has to step up to the plate and ensure the proper support systems are in place to increase First Nations graduation rates. Our children are our most precious resource and they deserve better," Pratt said.

Indigenous grad rates have increased from 32.9 per cent in 2011, according to ministry data.

Three-year graduation rates refer to the percentage of students who complete Grade 12 within three years of starting Grade 10, according to the ministry.