Friday, June 26, 2015

Ontario under fire over lack of oversight for private schools

Yusuf Talukder serves as principal of an after-school tutorial program he owns.
Teachers working in private schools in Ontario get very little oversight, allowing them to be disciplined in secret and hired without criminal background checks.

The government plays no regulatory role over tutoring programs, nor does it license or accredit the 1,000 private schools in the province, which serve more than 110,000 students, a Ministry of Education spokesman told the Star, following a Star investigation that revealed a convicted sex offender was directing an after-school tutorial program in Toronto.

Because independent schools operate as private businesses, all disciplinary action is handled between the principal and the teacher — behind closed doors.

Yusuf Ali Talukder, 52, is working as a principal at the after-school Dhaka Learning Centre in Scarborough. Talukder spent six months in jail, was listed on the sex offender registry and was banned from public schools after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a female student under the age of 14. He denies committing the assault.

But he was able to return to his role in the tutorial program because he ran it as a private business — which means it lies outside the jurisdiction of provincial education authorities.

Critics claim the Talukder case has unveiled major flaws in Ontario’s education sector, including a complete lack of regulation over private tutorial programs and weak oversight for private schools.  (more...)

Dismal choices for Ontario families. -- a system stacked against them.

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