By John Kaponi
The increasingly unruly nature of elements of black Londoners has now focused on the educational failings in the state sector, with leading black politician Lee Jasper and former aide to former Mayor Livingstone calling for support to have black only schools.
“The fact is, it’s time the black community ran its own schools, devised a curriculum that suited the needs of our children, employed teachers that look like the young people they are teaching.”
In Toronto,Canada the Toronto District School Board approved for the establishment of “Afrocentric or black-focused schools” in 2009 which aims to address the high level dropout of black children estimated to be at 40% per cent in the city.
In London the “dropout” rate is around 20-30% in certain areas of London, with crime figures indicating that murders amongst young people show blacks to be the victims and perpetrators in 80% of cases.
The black school in Toronto has been a very emotive issue with emotions raised during the debates evaluating the merits of the school.
The supporters for the black schools in Toronto went onto to say:
“Opening one school does not address the problem across the system … (where) a significant number of students of African descent are not doing well in our schools, we have a responsibility to address the needs across the system. We see the Africentric school request as part of a bigger (plan) … to effectively close the gap.”
In terms of finance the Toronto District is providing:
Open an Africentric alternative school in September 2009 and establish a team to determine grade levels and location, among other things (start-up cost of $350,000).
Start a three-year pilot program 2009 in three existing schools that include African history, culture, experiences and the contributions of blacks to society in every aspect of school life ($150,000 per school).
Work with a local university and, later on, other post-secondary institutions – as well as community agencies – to establish a centre of research and staff training focused on “best practices for improving school achievement” among all at-risk students ($15,000).
Have the director of education develop a board-wide action plan to help all youth who are struggling academically ($5,000).
LONDON DAILY NEWS OPINION
The London Daily News supports the establishment of black schools on the lines that exist in other ethnic groups like the ones that exist for the Jews The proposed JcoSS has raised £5.5 million in five months towards a £10 million target. The Greek community established the St Cyprian School in Croydon via funding from the London community and the Greek and Cypriot governments. Other communities have also emulated this, the kind of funding required for a full time secondary or primary school is estimated according to sources at the Department for Children, Schools and families at around £30-£40 million if you need to build a school and then equip it. Can the black community do this?
In addition, if the establishment of “black schools” is to provide an environment were students are given a self-confidence and awareness of their cultural heritage and push educational ambition to the top of the agenda this is to be supported. But if “black schools” are to be used to propagate an “anti-white” agenda and a revisionist version of history like that seen by the “Black Athena” book published by African American Martin Bernal claiming in a misguided series that European civilisation and specifically the Ancient Greeks derived much of their cultural roots from the “Afrosiatic cultures” ie Egyptian and Phoenician cultures. This book has been used in “black schools” and by black supremacist groups in the US and elsewhere to claim the supremacy of black cultures over Europe. We oppose an “anti-white” education agenda.
Moreover if the British black community who consist of Africans, Caribbean’s and South and Central Americans extraction can provide 50% per cent of the funding to establish a full time voluntary aided school then they should be allowed to do this.