Netherlands: Muslim school association wants more power over schools

The umbrella organization of Islamic Schools (ISBO) wants to extend its power in order to dismiss failing board members from now on.

If the educational inspection thinks a school is very weak and financially unscrupulous, than the ISBO should be able to intervene. "We must be able to say to such management: step back. And propose others ourselves, who would be good directors," says Yassin Hartog, interim-manager of ISBO.

The management submitted this proposal to the general membership meeting. Hartog: It was war in the meeting. People who are not capable feel trouble ahead, they must vanish from the scene."

State Secretary Dijksma (Education) recently said she wanted to intervene faster in badly functioning schools. This due to several scandals in the Muslim education, where board members committed fraud with government money or where the inspection of education quality said they were far beneath standard. 22 administrations out of the 46 Muslim schools belong to the ISBO.

Currently the ISBO board must "Talk very eloquently to persuade a failing school administration to resign," continues Hartog. "Those administrators derive social status from their management position. They don't give that up so easily. They are dangerous people because children are the victims of their attitudes. From that, our proposal."

Mustafa Derin, ISBO board member, thinks that the proposal is even the only solution to get the Muslim educational system out of the current crisis. He assumes that a majority will support it. "If that doesn't happen, I see the black could about the Muslim educational system only getting larger."

The image of all Muslim schools, even the good ones, suffer from the problems, he says. Parents prefer to send their kids to other schools and with that the future of Muslim education in the Netherlands becomes more uncertain.

Derin: The ISBO has been busy in the last three years just extinguishing fires in schools where the management wasn't functioning well. While we prefer to put in our time and energy into supporting the quality of the education."

Source: Trouw (Dutch)

See also: Muslim schools facing lack of students

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