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Ontario Supporting South Asian Students in Mississauga

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2022

[MISSISSAUGA] – Ontario is investing in a much-needed culturally responsive community program for South Asian students. This announcement by Kaleed Rasheed, MPP – Mississauga East – Cooksville, reaffirms the province’s commitment to help ensure that all students in Ontario can reach their full potential.

Ontario has provided $100,000 to Indus Community Services, a not-for-profit organization that builds resilient and healthy communities, to design and implement a new culturally responsive program for South Asian students. The six-week WEvolve program, designed for students in Grades 9 to 12 within the Region of Peel, will equip students with strategies to enhance well-being, self-confidence, and engagement in learning.

“Too many South Asian students have faced discrimination in their schools and communities, and our government is taking action to counter this hate,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “Our government is delivering this investment to better equip South Asian students with supports that will enhance their well-being, self-confidence, and engagement in learning.”

The investment is part of the government’s Priorities and Partnerships Funding COVID-19 Equity Supports, which funds various initiatives that help promote equity and a positive school climate, support healthy relationships, build empathy and address bullying and cyberbullying.

“The Ontario government is making positive inroads to ensure students across Ontario have appropriate support systems to complement their self-development while in school,” said MPP Kaleed Rasheed. “The team at Indus Community Services are professional, helpful, and thorough, and they have the appropriate resources to meet the needs of the students here in Mississauga East-Cooksville.”

“Education is the most important tool to nurture our leaders of today and tomorrow. Every young person in our province deserves access to education along with opportunity and wellbeing,” said MPP Deepak Anand, Mississauga-Malton. “Today, we are taking the necessary steps to meet the needs of South Asian students in the region of Peel to ensure social and economic inclusion.”

QUICK FACTS

  • Last year, the Ontario government provided $340,000 to support community-led equity programs and initiatives that combat anti-Asian racism and discrimination. The initiatives help ensure students learn in more inclusive classrooms and are supported by their educators and communities.
  • In January 2022, Ontario invested $48,950 in the Canadian Tamil Academy to provide Tamil students with information and resources to address mental health issues, cope with stress, build resilience and implement self-care strategies.
  • According to the Chinese Canadian National Council, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a concerning rise in instances of discrimination and hate crimes directed toward Canadians of Asian descent. Between March 2020 and February 2021, there were 1,150 cases of racist attacks across Canada.
  • Ontario requires all school boards to have an anti-bullying policy in place to help foster more welcoming and supportive school communities. As announced in November 2021, for the first time, there are specific references regarding religiously motivated discrimination, such as anti-Islamophobia and antisemitism, along with discrimination based on sexual orientation, and racism.

QUOTE

“This is a positive step in the right direction that identifies that culturally appropriate support goes a long way to address systemic discrimination,” said Gurpreet Malhotra, CEO, Indus Community Services. “We are pleased to work with the Ministry of Education to address the well-being and success of our communities’ young people.”

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Developing and Implementing Equity and Inclusive Education Policies in Ontario Schools

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Kaleed Rasheed, MPP | 905 – 238 – 1751 | https://www.kaleedrasheed.com/