I’m not sure if anyone in the wider world is aware of this, but Toronto is currently working toward setting up what is being called an “Africentric school.” The idea behind it is to provide students a school that meets their needs as African-Canadians, and hopefully combat the high dropout rate among black students in Toronto. For a while last year there seemed to be quite a bit of support for the new school, which will cover kindergarten to Grade 5. However, with pre-registation period for next September past, they only have 15 of the minimum 40 students needed. (Applicants scarce for Toronto’s Africentric school experiment from CBC Newsworld)
I’m very conflicted about the idea of this school. Toronto is a very, very diverse city. I can go almost an entire day without hearing English spoken, and that doesn’t bother me one bit. But I get worried when communities start to pull away. It almost seems like self-imposed segregation.
I understand that one of driving forces for this new school is to provide a less “white” curriculum. But this can lead to a very slipper slope. What if the Japanese community demands their own schools? Or maybe the Indian community? Or, what if I think my son should go to a school that has curriculum tailored for people of Chinese, Scottish and Irish descent? Okay, yes, I’m making fun a little, but I’m also concerned. Shouldn’t we be focusing on making changes to the current school curriculum so that everyone feels included?