WONG, Jan. Journalist & journalism professor approves specialized curricula but slams educational apartheid inherent in segregated, separate schools for ethnic minorities

Jan Wong (born 1952 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian journalist of Chinese ancestry who worked for The Globe and Mail ( Beijing correspondent from 1988 to 1994). She  is a columnist for Toronto Life magazine for the Halifax Chronicle Herald, the largest independently owned newspaper in Canada, and is a professor in journalism at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Wong ). 

Jan Wong on Educational Apartheid inherent in “special” schools for African-origin or  First Nation (Aboriginal) students in Canada (2011): “I’m not against specialized curricula, but having separate schools for blacks or other ethnic students is as offensive as white-only washrooms. I object to educational apartheid because it turns back the clock on civil rights. Nearly a century ago, my late aunt Ming broke through the colour barrier in Victoria, B.C. Family lore has it that on her first day of school, she took one look at the dingy classrooms in Chinatown and marched over to the school for white children. Miraculously and mysteriously, they enrolled her, and she went on to graduate from the University of Toronto as one of Canada’s first female Chinese anesthetists. Schools socialize us into becoming Canadians. They help us cross class and racial lines so we can head into the workplace. Separate schools with monocultural learning environments are antithetical to the principles on which our public school system is based: openness, integration, cohesion. How can you eliminate racism by segregating along racial lines?” [1].

[1]. Jan Wong, “Why educational apartheid is not the answer to curbing dropout rates for specific racial and ethnic groups,”, Toronto Life, 31 May 2011: http://www.torontolife.com/daily/informer/from-print-edition-informer/2011/05/31/why-educational-apartheid-is-not-the-answer-to-curbing-dropout-rates-for-specific-racial-and-ethnic-groups/ .