Khalsa school supporters rally in Vancouver

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      With their parents and grandparents in tow, students of the city’s only Khalsa school, which is being asked to vacate its space, rallied today (February 8) outside the West Broadway offices of the Vancouver school board.

      Chanting “Save our school” and “Save our education”, the kids did roving pickets as some of their elders faced TV news cameras to air their grievances.

      “As a parent, we are sad,” Surinder Dosanjh told reporters. “And all the kids are so sad that there is nothing left for them.”

      In a phone interview Wednesday (February 6), Vancouver school board chair Patti Bacchus indicated that the space leased by the Khalsa school at the South Hill Education Centre site on Prince Albert Street is needed to temporarily house students from public schools that will undergo seismic repairs.

      Dosanjh has two kids in the Khalsa school, one in Grade 2 and the other in Grade 6.

      “All we want is we want a school for the kids,” Dosanjh said. “And if we can’t run this school, we want a replacement.”

      At the rally, parent Harjit Bhatti told the Straight that the school board has extra space in the city because enrollment across the district has been on the decline for many years.

      Bhatti pleaded: “Please don’t take the education from us since you are the educator.”


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      Feb 8, 2013 at 3:13pm

      Private school? Solve your own problems and leave the rest of us alone.


      Feb 9, 2013 at 1:45pm

      Tis sad. The children need and probably want education. I wonder though if children really have any opinion one way or the other about education being synonymous with a single-religion, single-ethnicity grouping.

      Obviously, this is the parents wanting to preserve culture and push back against assimilation. But what is Sikhism, after all, but a movement to break down the unfair divisions of caste in a spirit of ecumenicism?

      Think about it!


      Feb 10, 2013 at 1:40pm

      So rent another space. Why should the public system subsidize or care about he private system? The public system has enough to worry about.

      judi sommer

      Feb 11, 2013 at 11:56am

      This group has known for years that their arrangement with the board was temporary and this is not the first time "sad children" are used to advance their cause. It is unfortunate that this community does not want to assimilate in our excellent public system. Why can't they have their religious instruction in temples after school? There are Khalsa schools in other municipalities so why not take advantage of their services? I agree with Thomas.Our priority must be with the public system given our tight resources.