This fall thousands of immigrant children entered school in Canada for the first time. Despite all of the challenges they face, including linguistic barriers and learning a whole new culture, most immigrant children outperform their Canadian-born peers.
Such a fact may not be a surprise to immigrant parents – many of whom chose Canada because of its top-ranked education system. Some experts say that for numerous families, enrolling children in school is one of the first tasks performed upon arrival.
The numbers of immigrant children in Canadian schools are steadily building. The overall average rate of foreign-born students in Canada is 10 percent. In larger metropolitan centres such as Toronto, Calgary, or Vancouver, that number can reach up to 25 percent.
This has led many school systems across the country to implement new services to help families and students adjust. They show families how to register, assess student skill levels and explain some of the quirks of Canadian schooling – including the concept of snow days and the prohibition of nuts in school lunches.
“Education is the most important thing for most of these parents, it’s why they come here,” says Sharaline Joseph, a settlement worker at the Peel District School Board. Joseph notes that many of her clientele include families with high levels of education, who place extreme value upon learning.
Source: Globe and Mail