January 2011

Globe and Mail on the Success of Immigrant Children in Canada

The Globe and Mail: Academic Success of Immigrants

Being an immigrant myself and a science educator, I read today’s article in Globe and Male on the success of immigrant children in Canada with great interest. The authors of the paper provide a thoughtful and informed discussion about what is happening in Canada and how the children of immigrants are succeeding (or not) in schools and universities. Living and working in Vancouver (one of the biggest city in terms of the immigration population) in Canada, I agree with many claims of the authors: while East Asian students are succeeding, we have many other immigrant groups who are falling between the cracks. When I lived and taught in Toronto, I certainly saw that: Hispanic and Caribbean students were often falling behind. I was happy to read that one of the most diverse school boards in the country – Toronto School Board decided to collect these data:

A Canadian exception is the Toronto District School Board, where 70 per cent of students in Grades 7 through 12 have two parents born outside the country. The board recently explored its student demographics more deeply through a detailed census. The data have enabled it to understand its student population with a level of detail unprecedented in Canada.

“In a country like Canada in which immigration is such a central feature of national development, it would seem obvious that schools, school boards or provincial education authorities should collect data on the country of birth of students and their parents,” said Paul Cappon, president and CEO of the Canadian Council on Learning.

I think the issue raised in this article is very important. It is just the beginning of the discussion. While the issues of immigrant children is important, we still have problems with the children of aboriginal ancestry, who albeit not immigrants, are underachieving in Canada… I am glad our media is raising these issues for the general public to debate.

Comments are closed.

Spam prevention powered by Akismet