Rotterdam: School suspected of financial abuse

RTV Rijnmond reports that a report on the Ibn Ghaldoun school brings up questions about subsidized trips to Saudi Arabia, imams on the payroll that don't perform any educational roles and irregularities by exams.

Ibn Ghaldoun organized several trips to Saudi Arabia in 2005 and 2006, for visiting the holy sites. In total, 197 students, teachers, parents and a large number of outsiders took part in the pilgrimage. The school got state support of 201,249 euro for the trip and promised to pay it back.

The investigation was started after the ministry of education got an anonymous letter. According to the ministry the report shows that offenses were committed. They have lodged a complaint by the justice department.

There are doubts about the authenticity of the invoices from Saudi Arabia that Ibn Ghaldoun handed over. The report says that the invoices seem to have been prepared by a third party regarding lay-out and text. For example, the lay-out and text of the invoices of both hotels are identical and have the same English language mistakes.

Ibn Ghaldoun has two full-time imams on their payroll.. They must be available for students problems but they seem to be active especially outside the school. Meanwhile the full-time functions have been moved over to part-time functions.

There are also irregularities found with exams. The examiners of Inb Ghaldoun gave too many points when correcting exercises. The inspection has a whole list of abuses.

The Rotterdam school didn't want to react to the accusations. Belgacem Naas, president of the school board, said to RTV Rijnmond that they're speaking with the ministry of education about everything. He claimed he had not recieved any offical notice of the complaint.

Besdies Ibn Ghaldoun in Rotterdam, the ministry of education has investigated a large number of other Islamic schools in the Netherlands. Also in those cases they have found abuses, varying from misuse of subsidies to failing administration members.

Deputy minister Sharon Dijksma (education) decided at the end of September to scrutinize all Islamic school administrations, because she had seen signs of mismanagement at 9 of these administrations, especially financially. The nine administration are a quarter of all Islamic school administrations. Ibn Ghaldoun is the most recent case where abuses have come to light.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

See also: Amsterdam: Students to move to more religious school

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