Province Moves Forward In Addressing Racial Equity Issues in Education

first_img The province of Nova Scotia has taken significant steps toaddress the issues of racial equity in education that were raisedin the 1994 Black Learners Advisory Committee (BLAC) report. That’s one conclusion found in the Report of the BLACImplementation Review Committee tabled in the House of Assemblytoday, Sept. 26. “Our education system must be accessible and equitable to blacklearners and their parents,” said Education Minister Jamie Muir. “The BLAC Implementation Review Committee report gives us a clearsnapshot of how far we have come, and what we need to do to trulyachieve that goal.” The BLAC Implementation Review Committee was established inSeptember 2001 by the deputy minister of Education DennisCochrane. Its mandate was to examine the status of therecommendations within the 1994 BLAC Report. The committee wasalso to provide an action plan, including costs, for theimplementation of items that have yet to be acted upon. Recommendations of the BLAC Report that have either beenimplemented or acted upon include: the establishment of theCouncil on African Canadian Education; the establishment of anAfrican Canadian Services division within the Department ofEducation; and the provision of scholarships for African NovaScotian youths to undertake teacher training. “We still have some recommendations in the BLAC report thatrequire action,” said Charles Sheppard, the chair of the Councilon African Canadian Education. “But there is no doubt somesignificant steps have been taken to date to address the racialequity issues raised in the BLAC report.” Based on the Implementation Review Committee’s report, theprovince has budgeted $4.1 million over the next four years toimplement the remainder of the operational recommendations of theBLAC report. These include the hiring of more African Canadianteachers and support workers, the expansion of adult literacyprogram sites in black communities, and the continued developmentof programs, resources and learning materials on black history,tradition and culture. “One of our government’s stated commitments is to ensure theeducation system reflects the diverse nature of Nova Scotiacommunities,” said African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister BarryBarnet. “The BLAC Implementation Review Committee’s reportclearly shows we are moving in the right direction.” Members of the BLAC Implementation Review Committee includedrepresentatives from the Department of Education, the Council onAfrican Canadian Education, the Nova Scotia School BoardsAssociation, the Black Educators Association, the AnnapolisValley Regional School Board, the Halifax Regional School Board,the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, the AfricanUnited Baptist Association and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. EDUCATION–Province Moves Forward In Addressing Racial EquityIssues in Educationlast_img

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