EDUCATION: Khalsa School in Vancouver faces closure after lease expires

Published: November 26, 2012

Khalsa school students participate in Surrey’s annual Vaisakhi parade. Pupils at Vancouver’s Khalsa school are facing relocation to Surrey branches of the school or to public schools. Ward Perrin/PNG

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

More than 200 Sikh students in Vancouver need to find a new school.

The Khalsa School on Prince Albert St. was the first ever of its kind in B.C. when it was established in 1986.

And now, after 27 years and an ever-growing enrolment — now at 213 students — principals and parents are afraid the religious school will be no more after the Vancouver School Board didn’t renew its lease.

Jaswinder Gill, vice-president of the parent advisory council, is worried her two children, along with many other Indo-Canadian students, risk losing their culture if the school closes.
The Khalsa School provides the standard Ministry of Education curriculum, and also offers classes on their religion, culture and language.

“(Vancouver’s Khalsa School) should be here forever because we as the Indo Canadian community in the Lower Mainland definitely need an institution,” said Gill. “Once this is taken over, it’s gone – that’s it. We have nothing for our future generation.

“It is a very good school, education is very good, the teachers are great, everything is so good.”

The school has been leasing the property from the school board for the past three years, and principal Jasbir Bhatia assumed they would sign on for another year like they always have.

“They always extend the lease so we were very hopeful they will extend it,” he said.

But according to VSB spokesman Kurt Heinrich, they’ve been clear it was only a temporary arrangement and now they need the property back in order to house their students as they undergo upgrades at 42 of their schools.

“At the end of the day we need to focus on our kids and our students – make sure they have a good safe place to learn,” he said.

The Khalsa School needs to vacate by July 2013, but Bhatia has been trying to arrange a meeting with trustees to see if there are any other options, like leasing another property.

But Heinrich said the board has already looked into that and “there just isn’t another spot in the district that can be used or shared with the Khalsa school.”

Which means the Vancouver campus will have to close, said Bhatia, and students and families are left with the only option of transferring to their Surrey locations.

But Bhatia doesn’t think many families would be willing — which is the case for Gill.

“I’m very much against sending them so far,” she said. “By the time they get there, by the time they get home they’ll be so tired.”

So her only option is to transfer her children to local public schools.

“We would like to keep our students,” said Bhatia. “There’s no other Sikh school in Vancouver – this is the only one.”

 






Featured

Mayor-elections-Surrey

What do Surrey mayoral candidates plan for Surrey City Development Corporation?

AMY REID SURREY NOW Surrey’s mayoral candidates have a variety of plans for the city’s development corporation. The 100-per-cent city-owned Surrey City Development Corporation (SCDC),…
Continue Reading »

DESI-SOCCER

Surrey soccer captain played the U-18 national club championship using only one foot

KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW SOUTH SURREY – Kyle Sohi’s perseverance and performance in the 2014 Sport Chek National Club Championships U-18 Cup Final might go…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Ottawa shooting suspect was convicted for robbery in Vancouver

THE PROVINCE The suspect believed responsible for shooting and killing a Parliament Hill soldier Wednesday was convicted in relation to a 2011 robbery that took…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Mayor-elections-Surrey

What do Surrey mayoral candidates plan for Surrey City Development Corporation?

AMY REID SURREY NOW Surrey’s mayoral candidates have a variety of plans for the city’s development corporation. The 100-per-cent city-owned Surrey City Development Corporation (SCDC),…
Continue Reading »

DESI-SOCCER

Surrey soccer captain played the U-18 national club championship using only one foot

KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW SOUTH SURREY – Kyle Sohi’s perseverance and performance in the 2014 Sport Chek National Club Championships U-18 Cup Final might go…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Ottawa shooting suspect was convicted for robbery in Vancouver

THE PROVINCE The suspect believed responsible for shooting and killing a Parliament Hill soldier Wednesday was convicted in relation to a 2011 robbery that took…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-Surrey-Festival-India

Diwali celebrations in Vancouver and Surrey

DiwaliFest celebrates its 11th anniversary from Oct. 17 to 26 at various sites in Surrey and Vancouver. Diwali Celebration Friday, Oct. 24 at Firehall Centre…
Continue Reading »

India-weird news

Rudaali: India’s professional ‘weeping women’ demand higher pay

CEN AGENCY Professional mourners who are hired to turn up at people’s funerals in India, beat their breasts and wail, are going on strike for…
Continue Reading »

Abbotsford

Jag Khosa: Families pay the ultimate price of gang wars

DET. JAG KHOSA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Late into the night, the parents of a young man struggled to sleep. The mother kept tossing and…
Continue Reading »

Facebook photo showing Martin Rouleau

Canada is Losing the Values War

UJJAL DOSANJH SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The dreaded happened in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a quiet historic town in Quebec. Many years ago I stayed there for a…
Continue Reading »

Butter Chicken

Light up Diwali with this delicious dinner: Butter Chicken, Basmati Rice with Peas, Chickpea Masala and Gulab Jamun

Indian festival is a fine reason for a feast BAL ARNESON POSTMEDIA NEWS Diwali is India’s biggest festival. People light candles and divas (small Indian…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood kiss

Bollywood’s king of kisses Emraan Hashmi refuses to dance with the queen of sex Sunny Leone

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood’s serial kisser Emraan Hashmi has refused to share screen space with porn star-turned Bollywood-actress Sunny Leone, Indian tabloid Mid-Day reported. Hashmi, who…
Continue Reading »

Jackie Chan

First India-China joint venture film starring Jackie Chan launched

HINDUSTAN TIMES Chinese action star Jackie Chan will star in the first Sino-India joint film production slated to go on the floors in the coming…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Saif Ali Khan poses with pants down

IANS New Delhi – Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan was caught and clicked with his pants down while shooting for his new film “Happy Ending”. As…
Continue Reading »