Toronto school trustees seek to tackle Portuguese dropout rate

March 9, 2011

2 Toronto school board trustees are pushing for a task force to address the 34% dropout rate among students of Portuguese background, including a potential Portuguese alternative school. Some argue that an alternative school is the last thing Portuguese students need, as they are already too focused on their own community, whose historic disregard for formal education was instilled by Antonio Salazar, the long-serving ruler of Portugal. "We're starting to see some improvement among the new generation of parents, and kids will benefit from watching their peers from other backgrounds," says the director of the Working Women's Centre, which helps run a homework program for children of Portuguese and Spanish background.