Support for Africentric School

Dear Editor:

The African Heritage Educators’ Network (AHEN) has always supported the Africentric Alternative School in its ideology, values, implementation and its operation. The fact that over 40 per cent of students of African descent cannot read or write in accordance with the Ontario standards is indicative of the need for the school and other changes in the education system.

We advocate for children’s education, value parents’ voices and support the Principal of the school, Ms. Thando Hyman.

This statement of support is to focus on the bigger picture – the children in our schools. Black children continue to be pushed out of the school system and we must stand up and be proactive against this. The Africentric Alternative School is a significant response, and it has proven its ability to deliver for our children. Thus far, the school has out-performed the provincial standards with its EQAO scores. The school’s 16 Grade 3 students collectively had 69 per cent of students reaching the provincial Level 3 standard in reading, 81 per cent in writing and 81 per cent in math. For the board, those scores sit at 60 per cent, 70 per cent and 71 per cent. For all of Ontario, they’re 62 per cent, 70 per cent and 71 per cent.

We understand that when there is a problem voiced by children, parents, teachers, administrators and the community, the Toronto District School Board has the responsibility to act and give due process to the matter. We believe that children come first and that as adults we must set an example of how we resolve conflicts for our children to follow.

AHEN collectively represents students, educators and parents of African heritage through advocacy in policy, staffing, parent and community, programming and curriculum. By ensuring student success, we will empower both our students and communities.

So we ask ourselves, what can we do to support the Africentric Alternative School? What can we do to support Ms. Thando Hyman? What can we do to support our students? Jamea Zuberi

AHEN Co-Chair

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