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The Khalsa School in Surrey, B.C., is offering one year of free education to 1,000 refugee students.Rafal Gerszak

The Sikh community in B.C.'s Lower Mainland is rallying to provide support for thousands of incoming Syrian refugees, with offers this week that include food, transportation and even private school for children.

Randeep Sarai, MP for Surrey Centre, convened a meeting over the weekend where roughly 30 community representatives immediately offered a variety goods and services. The federal government will announce details of its Syrian refugee plan on Tuesday, but – if past distribution models are used – B.C. is projected to receive between 2,500 and 3,500 refugees in the next couple of months.

Community organizer Balwant Sanghera, who attended the meeting, said Gurdwaras from Vancouver, Richmond, New Westminster, Abbotsford and Surrey have all agreed to collect food, clothing, blankets and other donations from their congregations. They also plan to launch a provincewide campaign to find free accommodations for the refugees.

"We are very proud to be Canadians and we are also proud of our heritage," Mr. Sanghera said. "We feel really good if we can be of any help if we are needed."

Other contributions floated by the Sikh community include childcare for up to 100 children.

Of note, roughly 1,000 of the refugees will be school-aged children. Khalsa School, a private school that teaches Punjabi language and Sikh history and religion on top of the public school curriculum, is offering one year of free education to 1,000 refugee students. (Tuition is usually $150 a month.)

The school's Mission campus, formerly a treatment and rehabilitation centre, is also capable of boarding an estimated 400 students and their families, principal Kamalpreet Bagga said.

"People are here to help them," Ms. Bagga said. "What we have learned from our gurus is that whenever there is a need, we are there. It doesn't matter which religion somebody belongs to; they are all equal. We should respect every human being on earth."

The school is also offering use of its 35 school buses to help transport refugees the day they arrive in Vancouver, Ms. Bagga said.

Surrey Board of Education chair Shawn Wilson noted that while many school districts have seen declining enrolment in recent years, Surrey has steadily increased, recording about 800 new students this school year alone. Despite challenges, he is optimistic there will be room for the 250 to 300 school-aged refugees projected to resettle in Surrey.

"There are bits and pieces of space throughout the city and when refugees come with school-aged children, they don't all wind up at one or two schools," Mr. Wilson said. "We can always handle a little bit here and a little bit there."

Fraser Ballantyne, chair of the Vancouver School Board, said Vancouver is expected to receive fewer families than suburban municipalities due to its higher cost of living. Any Vancouver-bound school-aged refugees should be easily accommodated, Mr. Ballantyne said.

"It will tax the system a little bit, but then again, people rise to the moment and know how important it is," he said.

In Burnaby, assistant superintendent Heather Hart said the district is hoping to place incoming Syrian students with other Arabic-speaking students in the school district, space permitting. Natalya Khan, the school district's co-ordinator of cultural transition services, has been in touch with the district's team of 12 settlement workers, two of whom speak Arabic.

"We hope that the government will be able to help us with additional resources to provide the best settlement possible," Ms. Khan said, citing the need for trauma counselling and interpretation services as examples.

According to the Ministry of Education, every refugee student in a B.C. public school will be funded regardless of when he or she starts, as per the government's per-pupil funding formula.

"We will count students in February and funding for any additional students will go to districts starting in April," according to a ministry e-mail sent on Monday. "For comparison, in 2014/15, an additional $258,000 was provided for 63 refugee students who enrolled midyear."

Some students may also be eligible for supplementary English language learning support services and funding.

B.C. has received 47 Syrian refugees since Jan. 1, according to the Immigrant Services Society of B.C.