September 21, 2001
Johanne Stewart, Director of Education
Michael Del Grande, Chairperson of the Board
Sandra Montgomery, Superintendent of Education
Toronto Catholic District School Board
80 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto ON M2N 6E8
RE: flyer and advertising process for LINC/ESL/ECE classes through the TCDSB and Croatian Community Services
This is a letter to inform you that I noticed some irregularities and problems in the connection with the Toronto Catholic District School Board and will concentrate on one of them now. It is about the disappointment among the Croats in Toronto and the surrounding area caused by the above mentioned flyer from the Toronto Catholic District School Board and to ask you for the explanation - how it is possible to have such a disgrace.
Last year I visited the Croatian Community Services in Mississauga and got a flyer advertising classes through the Toronto Catholic District School Board and Croatian Community Services. As Ms. Millie Skrtich, secretary/coordinator of the Croatian Community Services, said Ms. Vesna Nikolic from the Toronto Catholic District School Board was the most responsible for the project. I was shocked when I recognized Serbian words/expressions on the flyer created in order to inform Croats about the classes. It is well-known that many Croats died in fighting with Serbs in order to protect their homeland, freedom, tradition, culture, and LANGUAGE. Offering something official like this with Serbian words/expressions to Croats (most of them came to live in Canada because their homes were destroyed by the Serbian Army) is the worst slander.
The purpose of any flyer and advertising is to offer correct and good information and attract people to come, to use the service. The purpose of this flyer is to hurt Croats and to prevent them from coming. I have been living in Toronto and contributing to Croatian Community as well as Canadian multicultural society for forty-three years. I have never experienced something like this. It is both ridiculous and ironical that Ms. Nikolic, who took a great part in the process of preparation and distribution of this flyer, allowed something like this for she has been teaching Croatian language (!?) in Mississauga and has been involved in the ESL/LINC field at the Toronto Catholic District School Board as a Program Consultant for a long time.
How is it possible to have something like this happening at the Catholic School Board?
What is the result of Ms. Nikolic s action? How many classes have been opened, how many people (Croats!) have been attending the program& ? Statements such as Croats do not like going to school , Our community is not as big as Chinese one etc. are both false facts and good excuses.
Looking forward to hearing from you
Mr. Rudi Tomic,
journalist, author, publisher,
director of the Toronto Press Club
Ms. Ljerka Lukic, who is one of the leading experts on Croatian Philology, has been volunteering, supplying, and working part-time as an ESL/LINC instructor at the Continuing Education of the Toronto Catholic School Board for four years. This is the first time for Ms. Lukic to comment on Ms. Nikolic s expertise .
Ms. Vesna Nikolic, TCDSB
Ms. Millie Skrtich, Croatian Community
Ministry of Education
TESL Toronto, TESL Ontario, TESL Canada
Ms. Hanna Cabaj, Coordinator of the Adult Education, TCDSB
Ms. Ljerka Lukic, TCDSB