Two new Brampton elementary schools will make history as the first in Canada to be named in honour of a pair of heroic figures, one born in India and the other in Pakistan.
The Peel District School Board has announced it will name a pair of schools in the region after Sikh-Canadian soldier Pte. Bukkan (Buckham) Singh and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.
Unlike Yousafzai — who became a household name after being shot by members of the Taliban while on her way to school in 2012 and subsequently became the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize — Singh’s contributions weren’t widely known until about 100 years after his service.
He was buried by the Canadian military with full honours.
Yousafzai, an honorary Canadian citizen since 2017, began speaking about the right to education at age 11, inspired in part her father’s humanitarian work. She survived an assassination attempt at 15 years of age and quickly became a prominent activist, focusing largely on girls.
In a statement, Brampton trustee for wards nine and 10 Balbir Solhi said the board is proud to name one of the new schools after Singh.
“Through his service and dedication to our country, he left behind a proud legacy — not just for the Sikh community but for all of Canada,” Sohi said.
On the choice to name a school after Yousafzai, Will Davies, trustee for Brampton’s wards two and six, said, “her relentless commitment to learning and education is an inspiration to us all, and will be embedded into the school’s vision and focus.”
Buckham Singh Public school will be located in the Vales of Humber area while Malala Yousafzai Public School will be in the Queen Mary Drive and Remembrance Road area.
Students in the boundaries of both locations will temporarily attend nearby schools until the buildings are ready.