From an early age, students in elementary classrooms across Ontario learn about the importance of respect, inclusion, and diversity.
But, schools lack the staff training and resources to support them. The demographic profile of Ontario has changed dramatically over the past decade. The number of children who speak neither English nor French when they register for school has increased significantly — 72 percent of English elementary schools have English-language learners compared to 43 percent in 2002-03.
We need to ensure that the English as a second language grants accurately reflect the real number of students who don’t speak English when they enrol at school. We also need to ensure that the books our kids read, the resources they have at their disposal, and the educators who teach them reflect the diversity of the experiences and backgrounds we are so proud of in Ontario.