2008-02-03

Black Afrocentric Schools

First, is it 40% of Toronto Blacks who don't graduate, or 40% of Caribbean born students? And is 40% really a high number? Torontonians are among the most educated in the country. What is the dropout rate in places like Newfoundland or Manitoba? I remember the official dropout rate being 50% when I was in highschool in Gatineau, Quebec. That number was disputed, however, as many students returned to get their diploma via "adult" education.
 
You kind of expect the sons and daughters of poorly educated parents to do poorly in school. Even more so if the students themselves started their schooling in the third world (according to the United Nations, "30 per cent of (Jamaican) students are functionally illiterate at the end of the primary cycle".)
 
A black school will do absolutely nothing to improve the grades of the 39,000 "black" students at the Toronto school board. Case in point, an aboriginal school in Toronto that opened 30 years ago: "Not one Grade 3 student at the school met the province's standards for reading, writing or math in 2007"(insidetoronto.com).
 
African culture has little do to with the lives of Caribbean residents. Even less so when it comes to Canadians. Slavery robbed the Africans of their languages and culture, both of which have now little to nothing in common with anything in Africa (and African culture isn't exactly homogeneous either). Ontario's curiculum isn't really Eurocentric, I'd call it Englandcentric. If you are Portugese, are you really going to learn anything about Portugal, appart from perhaps the Brazil thing and that guy Magellan. In fact, I was well into my twenties, and travelling in Europe, before I realised that people spoke Irish in Ireland (41%) and Welsh in Wales (22%) (both of which, untill relatively recently, were parts of our country!). Or did you know that slight majority of people who came to Quebec from France didn't speak anything resembling French (such as Basque, Breton, Provencal, etc...)?
 
Do blacks in Toronto really have anything in common with other blacks, apart from their skin colour not being white? You could almost argue in favour of a Jamaican school, teaching Jamaican culture and maintaining the Jamaican Patois language. But a black school? Excuse me, "Afrocentric". I'm not sure if that is silly or just plain stupid. Do Jamaica and Liberia have schools for whites? I mean, "Eurocentric".
 
 

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