Amsterdam school director threatened the Education Inspectorate

Arie Slob, ChristenUnie, on Feb 4, 2012
Arie Slob, ChristenUnie, on Feb 4, 2012Anne Paul RoukemaWikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

A director of the Cornelius Haga Lyceum in Amsterdam told the Education Inspectorate last week that he "can not control his people", Minister Arie Slob of Primary and Secondary Education revealed during a parliamentary debate on the Islamic secondary school, Het Parool reports.

Last week the national coordinator for counterterrorism NCTV and and intelligence service AIVD revealed that employees of the school wanted to devote a large part of lessons to Salafist doctrine, and that some employees had links with terrorist organization Caucasian Emirate in the past. A short time later it was revealed that the Education Inspectorate was prevented from doing its job during an unannounced visit to the school on March 6th.

On Thursday, Slob told parliament what the Inspectorate was told. “A director said that if the lesson visits were to take place, there may be disturbances and that he could not control his people”, Slob said.

A number of parties in parliament wanted to know why these threatening words were not enough for Slob to stop the school’s funding with immediate effect, according to the newspaper. “There was the possibility to intervene, and that did not happen. A funding measure should have been taken”, CDA parliamentarian Michel Rog said. PvdA MP Attje Kuiken agreed: “That is possible immediately.”

Slob responded that the inspection visits restarted this week. “We would no longer have had the legal ground to suspend funding.”

EenVandaag and RTL Nieuws got hold of a provisional report about the school by the Inspectorate. According to the them, the inspectorate’s report is very positive. SP parliamentarian Jasper van Dijk therefore thinks that the school ‘tricked’ the Inspectorate - preventing an inspection to buy time to get everything in order.

A number of parliamentarians demanded that the provisional report be sent directly to parliament. Slob refused. “The report was not officially established, so in principle it does not exist”, he said.

Almost the entire parliament would prefer if the school is closed sooner rather than later, but in practice the Ministers of Education and Justice can not do it. During the debate, that lasted more than five hours, the parliamentarians cited articles from all areas of the law which could be used as basis to close the school. The coalition parties then submitted a motion calling on the government to explore all legal options for closing the Cornelius Haga Lyceum.

VVD parliamentarian Rudmer Heerema also argued for a future professional ban for teachers who now teach at the school, to prevent the from going to work at another school if the Cornelius Haga Lyceum closes. “They also play a role in this issue and we know who they are. I would find it very dangerous if these teachers could continue to teach at another school.

Earlier this week a group of Islamic organizations issued a joint call for the board of the Cornelius Haga Lyceum to resign. They want the board to take responsibility for the controversy that arose around the school, and to put their own interests aside in favor for the general interest of good Islamic education in the Netherlands.