Education Inspectorate report reveals chaos at Amsterdam educational institution
As-Siddieq, the largest Islamic educational institution in Amsterdam, may face sanctions for misuse of government funds and general mismanagement. Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dennis Wiersma will decide on possible consequences for As-Siddieq, in consultation with the Education Inspectorate, according to Het Parool.
In an unpublished report leaked to Het Parool, the Education Inspectorate shows no confidence in the school board's ability to manage the institution's three primary schools in Amsterdam. Basic tasks such as budget approvals or school renovations became impossible for the board after an August 2020 rift among its members. An Amsterdam court got involved and ruled in July 2022 in favor of chairman Samy Deghedy. The end to the power struggle, however, did not change the Inspectorate's assessment of the educational institution, Het Parool reports.
A large part of the report deals with As-Siddieq illegally spending government money. Non-educational field trips, an Eid al-Fitr celebration featuring a bounce house and ponies, tourist information vouchers for students and a fleet of exclusive buses are all examples of the institution misappropriating funds, the Inspectorate believes.
In fact, the schools illegally spent a total of 298,417 euros, according to Het Parool. The Inspectorate sees a "significant risk" that government funds could be misappropriated again in the future.
According to the AD, the Education Inspectorate has the option to reclaim the money that was spent unlawfully. It can also impose strict supervision over the schools' budgets and choose to withhold some government money. Consulting Wiersma indicates that more drastic measures are on the horizon for the educational institution, according to the AD. These could include the replacement of the As-Siddieq board or partially halting funding to the schools.