OHRC unveils Human Rights 101 e – learning in Arabic and Spanish
December 9, 2011
Toronto – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today announced it is working on two new versions of its popular e-learning module, Human Rights 101 at an event to celebrate International Human Rights Day hosted by Overland Learning Centre, a Toronto District School Board (TDSB) adult learning centre and the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office. The Overland Learning Centre has a large English as a Second Language Program helping many new Canadians integrate into Canadian society.
The two new e-learning versions will offer users information on human rights history, principles, legislation and policies in Arabic and in Spanish. They will be available online next week. The OHRC also plans to add another 11 languages — Italian, Korean, Punjabi, Portuguese, Somali, Tamil, Tagalog (Filipino), Urdu, Vietnamese, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional) — during the new year.
“With e-learning, we have the opportunity to share information on human rights no matter where you live in Ontario,” commented Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall. “We’re here today at the Overland Learning Centre, where adult students are learning English. We want to make it easier for all students to learn about human rights and multilingual Human Rights 101 will help.”
Chris Bolton, Chair and Trustee, Toronto District School Board stated, “At the heart of a vibrant, effective and caring education system is the strong commitment of staff, students and communities to Human Rights and to ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. On the 50th anniversary of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the TDSB is honoured to celebrate International Human Rights Day with the OHRC.” The TDSB delivers one of the largest and most comprehensive ESL programs in North America. Each year approximately 30,000 learners register in TDSB adult ESL classes.
Overland Learning Centre proudly presents a Commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed by United Nations General Assembly
In October of this year, Cesar Peralta, School Settlement Worker from Thorncliffe Park Neighbourhood Office, approached staff at Overland Learning Centre with an idea. He was wondering if Overland would like to participate in a week long celebration commemorating the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed by the United Nations General Assembly 63 years ago. Together, they came up with the idea of co-hosting an assembly wrapping up a week of events exploring different aspects of the theme of Human Rights that have been held all around our neighbourhood.
“Since many of our Overland learners come from countries lacking the basic rights and freedom enjoyed and protected here in Canada with our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity for us all to access this wonderful learning opportunity” said Grant Reimer, Site Supervisor at Overland.
When the Ontario Human Rights Commission heard about the event, they thought it would be a perfect venue to launch an exciting new project that they have been working on, designed especially for New Canadians.
On the event day, special guest Barbara Hall, Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner, unveiled Arabic and Spanish versions of its popular e-learning module, Human Rights 101. These online resources offer users information on human rights history, principles, legislation and policies. In the coming months, the OHRC also plans to add another 11 language modules –Italian, Korean, Punjabi, Portuguese, Somali, Tamil, Tagalog (Filipino), Urdu, Vietnamese, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional).
Speakers from all levels of government (our MP John Carmichael, the Hon. Kathleen Wynne, our MPP) and representatives from the TDSB (Chris Bolton, Chair of the TDSB Board, Gerri Gershon, our Trustee and Penny Mustin, Associate Director) all spoke eloquently about the importance of Human Rights and the need to be vigilant in our efforts to protect individual rights and freedoms and to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
The event proved to be a very exciting and educational experience for our Overland students.
Toronto District School Board. December 2011