News Release Archive


The education needs of Black Nova Scotians are being better
served due to a new African Canadian Services Division officially
opened today by Education and Culture Minister Robbie Harrison.

The new division will put policies, staff and programs in place
to improve learning opportunities for Black Nova Scotians of all

"Today marks another important step in the road toward equality
in education for all Nova Scotians," said Mr. Harrison. "The
African Canadian Services Division will work in collaboration
with other organizations to ensure the Black community has a
voice in the system."

The division was established as part of government's 1995
response to the Black Learners Advisory Committee (BLAC) report,
which identified inequities in the education of Black Nova
Scotians. The African Canadian Services Division is one of the
cornerstones of the initiatives announced in the government's

Other projects announced as part of the response have been
progressing over the last year. A Council on African Canadian
Education (CACE) has been established, and acts as an advisory
body to the minister.

Education programs to increase cultural awareness and improve
learning opportunities for Black Nova Scotians, of all ages, are
also under way with African Canadian Studies programs being
piloted in seven schools, and eight adult and family literacy
projects operating this fall.

Funding has also been put in place to increase post-secondary
opportunities and accessibility for Black learners. Seven
students in the education, medical and engineering fields are
receiving scholarships this year through the African Nova Scotian
Scholarships Program. The program compliments an Incentive Fund
Program which this year awarded funding to 130 recent high school
graduates from across the province for the first year of
post-secondary education.

Work is also in place on a race relations policy, an affirmative
action committee, teacher training and other issues affecting
African Nova Scotian learners.

Division director Robert Upshaw said establishing the African
Canadian Services Division was a critical step in formalizing the
relationship between the Black community and the Department of
Education and Culture.

"We are now in a position to have a real voice in directing the
education of African Canadians in Nova Scotia. This will be
important both in addressing past inequities and ensuring future
opportunities," Mr. Upshaw said.

Mr. Harrison said many people deserve acknowledgement in
establishing the division. "Among those who should be thanked are
the late Buddy Daye, Judge Castor Williams and the members of the
Black Learners Advisory Committee, Premier John Savage,
Environment Minister Wayne Adams and leaders of the African
Canadian community. I look forward to continued good work from
the division and the community," he said.


Contact: Catherine MacIsaac  902-424-2795

trp                      Oct. 10, 1996 - 2:10 p.m.