Friday, December 29, 2006

SIKHS IN CANADA DIFFER OVER SCHOOL POLICY

A Sikh school's plans to expand has divided the community, with some saying that segregating the boys and girls from the larger Canadian society will only harm the students. Not everyone agrees. The Khalsa Community School in Mississauga has acquired five acres of land in Brampton and is drawing up plans to extend its program through high school. Started in 1995, the Khalsa School has grown from 68 pupils to 400. The school offers a means of holding on to the Sikh tradition.
Now some parents and others in the Sikh community believe that the policy of teaching the boys and girls without mixing them up in the classroom with others in the Canadian society is only isolating them. The Globe and Mail newspaper quoted Kaylene Brar, a teacher from another school, as saying: "Canada's USP (unique selling point) is its multi-ethnicity. Kids, at not just the Sikh school but other religious schools as well, miss out on cultural assimilation that starts at the school level." In her view, children must learn about different cultures and mingle with other children.
But Deepinder Gill, whose two daughters study in the Sikh school, does not agree. "It keeps them closer to their faith and their culture," he argued, in supporting of maintaining the school's Sikh identity. "I don't have to worry that they won't know anything about Sikhism. They are doing well academically," he said. At the school, students and teachers have their heads covered with turbans or scarves.
"We offer Sikh families a choice," said Harman Ahluwalia, vice-principal of the school. The school follows the Ontario school curriculum besides teaching 'kirtan', Sikh theology, Punjabi language and Sikh heritage. "People have different priorities, we give them a chance to exercise their choice," Ahluwalia said.
The Sikh population in Greater Toronto Area, now 150,000, is growing and the high school is expanding at the right time, said Roma Kaur, who is an editor of a women's magazine in Toronto. "The school's doing a good job of preserving the Sikh heritage, but it is time to upgrade it. I know there's been a demand for it," she said.

17 comments:

JSaan said...

Indians just have to show their hideous face once they are established somewhere.

Never content to live WITH they always want others to change THEIR society to accommodate them.

If it is so necessary to use a school, a place of education, to reinforce sikhism then these people can always move to Punjab.

Idiots and ingrates.

Jitender Saan
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http://jsaan.blogspot.com/
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HKC said...

JSaan - why don't you stick to the argument rather than criticizing the individuals involved, you shameful bigot (ha ha ha - see what I did there??)

Why is it that Sikhs are held to a different standard than individuals from other religious backgrounds (i.e., Catholic, Jewish) who already have established religious schools? Why is this suddenly a *new* argument when Sikhs are involved? Seems racist to me.

If the opposing argument is pertaining to cultural/religious segregation - isn't it up to the parents how they determine their child to be raised? Furthermore, it's a fairly weak argument to suggest that multiculturalism/tolerance is fostered simply by sitting in a classroom with a visible ethnicity. All the racism kids have to face in those schools these days is perhaps fostering this movement.

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