Muslim schools facing lack of students

1/5 of the Muslim schools in Holland are facing closure, since they're not attracting enough students.

There are 46 Muslim elementary schools in the Netherlands, with about 10,000 students. 10 to 12 schools are facing difficulties since they're not upholding the norms required for attendence. In Amsterdam, for example, a school must have 323 students after five years.

"Half of the Muslim parents want a Muslim school for their kids, but once a school exists, they stay away." says Rasit Bal, president of the Muslim school organization ISBO. He puts this down to the negative image of Muslim schools and to the fact that often schools open up in neighborhoods where there aren't a lot of Muslims. For example, this year a school opened up to which no students signed up.

According to a survey that was taken two years ago, there is much need for new Muslim schools. In 2004 there were 42 Muslim schools in the Netherlands, but the survey showed that there was need for 120 such schools.

Source: Trouw (Dutch)

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