By Laura Churchill Duke
SPECIAL TO THE NEWS
African Nova Scotian communities experience unique challenges, particularly when it comes to the education system, says an official with the Delmore Buddy Daye Learning Institute in Halifax.
Chanae Parsons, co-ordinator of youth initiatives and projects for the institute, says data shows African Nova Scotians are over-represented on Individual Program Plans (IPPs) in schools, they are disproportionately suspended, and they experience unaddressed racism.
She also says African Nova Scotians have higher drop-out (push-out) rates and experience limited access to resources while facing challenges in pursuing and completing post-secondary education.
Parsons will address those issues, and more, during a regional summit on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Glasgow Square in New Glasgow.
“The summit is an initiative to advance a collective response to address challenges often faced by African Nova Scotian learners and communities to improve their educational outcomes,” says Parsons.
Parsons says the objective is to expose African Nova Scotians learners and communities to organizational resources which can be drawn upon to help respond to educational issues and help build capacity and agency within communities and invigorate learner success.
The session will include exhibits from Ward One Education Committee in New Glasgow and the Health Association for African Canadians. There will also be interactive learning sessions throughout the day on capacity building strategies that will positively influence African Nova Scotian learners and their community’s performance in the education system.
“We encourage educators, young people, and all community members to participate,” says Parsons.
New Glasgow was selected for the inaugural event because, as Parsons says, it is a rural community with a relatively high population of African Nova Scotians who don’t always have exposure or access to such initiatives and programs.
Anyone interested in attending the event or would like more information is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.