Nepalese Canadian Youth Civic Engagement: Young Nepalese Canadians Experiences In High School
There is no authentic data on Nepalese migration to Canada, but a significant number of people started to immigrate to Canada as permanent residence in early 1990s. The young Nepalese immigrants living in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), learned civic education and civic behaviours during their high school, i.e. Grade 9 to Grade 12. Although most of the developed countries introduced civic educations in high schools; Canada, especially in the province of Ontario, introduced 40 hours of community service program in 1999. It continues to be a mandatory requirement to graduate high school. The key aim of this mandatory community service program is to develop civic values in young people at an early age and to engage civically responsible young people for strengthening local communities (MOET,1999). However, several studies on youth engagement have identified that young people’s civic engagement is gradually declining; as a result, communal values and beliefs are weakening in local communities. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in studying youth civic engagement to better explain the motivation of young generation to engage in community services. A study on mandatory community services suggests that positive volunteering experiences increase the civic participation of young people (Pancer, Brown, Henderson, and Ellis-Hale, 2007). Despite the studies on mandatory community services program in Canadians’ high schools, young Nepalese Canadians’ experiences and perception on community services program is still unknown. Little attention is given to how young immigrants such as young Nepalese Canadian are experiencing community service program in Canadian high school system. Through analysis of 10 young Nepalese Canadians in-depth interviews, I will present my paper on how young Nepalese Canadians, living in GTA, are experiencing, and perceiving the community services program in high school. This paper will, first, explore the impact of mandatory community services program on young Nepalese Canadians from an immigrant’s perspective. Second, it will examine the significance of community services programs for young immigrants especially for young Nepalese Canadian to develop civic behavior as well as to engage in community activities. Finally, it will highlight their challenges of young Nepalese in adapting to Canadian life.
Ministry of Education and Training. (1999). Ontarion Secondary Schools,9-12- Diploma Program Requirements. Toronto: Ministry of Education and Training. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/curricul/secondary/oss/oss.pdf
Pancer, S. M., Brown, S. D., Henderson, A., & Ellis-Hale, K. (2007). The impact of high school Mandatory Community Service Programs on Subsequent volunteering and civic engagement. Toronto: Knowledge Development Centre, Imagine Canada. Retrieved from http://sectorsource.ca/sites/default/files/resources/files/WLU_MandatoryVolunteering_Feb07_2007.pdf