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Agreement of Cooperation Promotes Education, Diversity and Economic Development

Archived Backgrounder

Agreement of Cooperation Promotes Education, Diversity and Economic Development

Office of the Premier

The Ontario government and the Ismaili Imamat have signed a historic Agreement of Cooperation to support projects that promote pluralism, cultural diversity, and the social and economic advancement of Ontario and other parts of the world.

The Agreement of Cooperation stems from the Government of Ontario and the Ismaili Imamat's shared desire to:

  • Explore opportunities for collaborating and building a strategic partnership.
  • Support the social and economic advancement of people, particularly the vulnerable in Ontario and other parts of the world;
  • Learn from each other in fields such as education; and
  • Understand the societal and economic benefits of diversity and successful pluralistic societies to further their common goal of equitable human advancement and social justice based on principles of mutual benefit and reciprocity.

The main agreement establishes an understanding to explore opportunities for further collaboration and learning in fields of mutual interest, such as education, diversity, social justice, economic development, and social and cultural change.

The agreement also includes two appendices, which lay out specific areas for cooperation.

APPENDIX ONE

The Ontario government and the Ismaili Imamat have agreed to collaborate on mutually beneficial education initiatives, in elementary, secondary and postsecondary education.

The province will work closely with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and one of its agencies, the Aga Khan Academies. The Aga Khan Academies are an integrated network of day and residential schools dedicated to expanding access to education. The Academies recruit exceptional young people from all backgrounds and provide them with the highest international standard of education, thereby developing future leaders with the skills and knowledge to support development in their societies.

This appendix lays out three separate areas of cooperation with these Academies.

Teacher Secondments

Ontario will second up to 10 Ontario teachers to the Aga Khan Academies. The total number of secondments will be up to the equivalent of 10 one-year secondments over three years starting in the 2015-16 school year.

Postsecondary Access

Ontario will provide tuition waivers to 30 high school graduates of Aga Khan Academies in Kenya, India and Mozambique over the next three years so they can pursue a college or university program in Ontario, while the Aga Khan Academies will provide support to these students for living and other expenses. These tuition waivers will be distributed to academically qualified students who are in financial need, starting in the 2016-17 school year.

Curriculum-linked Resources

The parties will explore a range of curriculum-linked resources that draw on the Aga Khan Museum -- and potentially other resources of the Aga Khan Development Network -- to build teacher capacity and student understanding of pluralism, starting in the 2015-16 school year.

APPENDIX TWO

This appendix sets out plans for policy dialogues between the Aga Khan Council for Canada and the province. The dialogues will explore opportunities for the parties to further collaboration and learning under the broad theme of "Diversity as a competitive advantage and economic driver."

The appendix specifically outlines three policy dialogues:

Shaping Pluralistic Dispositions in Education (Q4, 2015)

Ontario's elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools offer a world-leading educational experience, enriched by a diverse student base and a curriculum that promotes inclusion and pluralism.

The Ministries of Education and of Training, Colleges and Universities will work together with the Aga Khan Development Network to further promote shaping pluralistic dispositions in education.

Culture as an Economic Driver (Q2, 2016)

Culture-related industries currently contribute approximately $22 billion annually to Ontario's economy, generating about 280,000 jobs. In 2012, preliminary figures indicate spending by arts and culture tourists generated $3.9 billion in GDP and supported 61,000 jobs.

As Ontario continues to develop culture as a key economic driver, the Aga Khan Museum of Toronto will play a key role in helping to affirm its position as an internationally recognized cultural centre and tourist destination. Together with Ontario's thriving arts and culture community, the Aga Khan Museum will continue to build Toronto's reputation as a truly international, diverse and vibrant community with an innovative, creative economy. 

Leveraging Toronto's Diversity for an International Economic City (Q1, 2017)

Toronto is home to the world, giving it unique economic advantages. With over six million people from 200 countries speaking over 200 languages, Canada's financial capital and largest city has immense potential for businesses to grow and thrive in today's global market.

Harnessing our diversity as an economic driver is top of mind for Ontario's government. Through collaboration with the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade for Ontario and the Aga Khan Development Network, this dialogue will explore ways Toronto can continue to compete with New York, London, Shanghai and Tokyo and position itself at the forefront of global economic cities.

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