Who decides…

…in relation to publicly-funded institutions, specifically Algonquin College in Ottawa and Niagara College in Welland, Ontario, deciding to open campuses in Saudi Arabia, which prohibits men and women from taking classes together–or, in these cases, even being on the same campus.

Segregated gender education has been adopted, with reservations, in certain U.S. public school systems. In Ontario, there have been degrees of gender segregation of Muslim girls in public schools, based on religious accommodations to Muslims. While many private schools segregate by gender, the segregation is justified based on anticipated improved academic results by gender–and where the evidence is, in any event, inconclusive. Segregation by gender is also found in Muslim private schools in Canada, though where the justification appears to be religious-based, rather than being referenced to anticipated improved academic results by gender.

When gender segregation is not a generally shared public value, it would seem that public funds should not be used to fund any institution, anywhere, that requires such segregation by gender–or, in the case of the Saudi institutions, appears to exclude women from the program offerings entirely. It would seem that it is private sector educators who should have established and been running the facilities now run by Algonquin College and Niagara College in Saudi Arabia.

Asked my class in Organizational Behaviour how this could have happened. What was the decision process? Was this a process of groupthink? Didn’t anyone, at any time, raise strong reservations as to the use of Ontario public funds in support of values that are the antithesis of those generally shared in relation to education in Ontario? Quite apart from any issues in relation to respect for the Charter of Rights

And nothing in the “newsroom” of Niagara College about this.

And nothing in the “news” at Algonquin College about this.

It is implicit that public funds are to be used in accordance with the values associated with the general public providing such funding.

Perhaps the conditional nature of public funding needs to be demonstrated…

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About brucelarochelle

Practising Lawyer and Part-Time University Instructor (Accounting, Commercial Law, Organizational Behaviour); Part-Time Federal Tribunal Member. Non-practising Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Accountant).
This entry was posted in Discrimination, Education - Post-Secondary, Education - Primary and Secondary, Islam, Saudi Arabia. Bookmark the permalink.

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