Number of black N.S students in special programs alarming, report says

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX - A report for the Nova Scotia government says there's evidence that an "alarming number" of the province's 4,000 black students are being placed in special programs for students with academic difficulties.
The 107-page study for the Department of Education says that often excludes them from post-secondary education.
It also concluded that black students are still finding programs designed to assist them are "out of reach."
The report comes 15 years after the province acknowledged the school system needed to combat racial inequality.
It examined 12 programs that were created by the province after another report in 1994.
That report found that in the early 1990s, few black students were obtaining a university education, citing census data showing 50 per cent of black high school students were dropping out.
The report released Thursday said a program set up to provide support workers to black students has been effective, but the workers "are responsible for too large a caseload of students."
It also found a rise in the number of black students obtaining post-secondary scholarships - from 246 in 2004 to 378 students in 2008.
"This review will give us valuable insight into what is working and where we can improve," Education Minister Marilyn More said in a statement.
"We want to help all students reach their full potential, and this report and feedback on it can help us do just that."
More said she would provide a more formal response to the report in the spring after public feedback.

Organizations: Department of Education

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Nova Scotia

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  • Been there
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    This is nothing new. Looks like the NS Dept of Education is still going 'through the motions' with black children. As a black student growing up in NS in the 70's, I too was pushed through the system. I wasn't allowed to participate in certain programs as they were intended for the 'white children' who would go on to post-secondary education. Kids like me were pushed aside and forced to take 'work preparation' classes. The goal of the schools then - and now, so it seems - was to get us out of the schools asap without a high school diploma, and into dead-end jobs. Luckily for me I had skills that helped me find work at the age of sixteen, but I still do not have the papers to prove what I can do, and that limits my career choices to jobs that pay much lower than those filled by 'certified' workers. I work side by side with these 'certified' workers. Bottom line - for the black parents who are reading this, do not let your kids get pushed through this system. Demand a higher standard for their education, no matter what.
    Mike from Port Alberni BC (formerly from Amherst NS)

  • Dee
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    As a Black professional I agree there have been delayed opportunities, misplaced files, etc....and I can never recall being invited to see a guidance counselor in school ..Needless to say today we have more opportunities. I believe it is about Attitude and Determination. We can become all we were called to be. The road is uphill sometimes but that would apply to anyone such as persons who have illness, may have been incarcerated, are people of colour, etc....BE CREATIVE and remember if your name is on it No man can stop you...only you .....so keep studying .. help is on the way!