Amsterdam Islamic school board told to resign over mismanagement
Education Minister Dennis Wiersma has decided that the board of the Stichting Islamitische School Amsterdam (ISA) must resign as quickly as possible. A new inspection of the foundation, which operates several Islamic schools, noted "financial mismanagement, unlawful enrichment and unlawful action," prompting the minister's decision.
Wiersma said that he has chosen this extreme measure because he is not confident that the current board can solve the issues. "We need a new board that gives priority to the welfare of the children and quality education as soon as possible." The schools include al Yaqut, al Maes and al Jawhara.
According to the Education Inspectorate, the Islamic school foundation does not have the administrative organization and internal controls in place, and the board is not taking any measures to do anything about it. In addition, there is a "great degree of interdependence" with the foundations behind student transport and the weekend schools, resulting in unlawful enrichment.
The conclusions of the Education Inspectorate will likely be published in the second half of September. But because they have already appeared in Parool, Wiersma decided to announce his decision with immediate effect. The announced measure concerns directions that are now being prepared. After the designation has also been formally given, the board will have four weeks to respond.
This designation is the most severe measure that the minister can impose on schools. Wiersma took this decision because the board decided not to resign in response to the report, although it acknowledged the mismanagement, according to the minister. The measure entails that an interim administration must be set up to put things right.
If the current board does not cooperate, the foundation will no longer receive government money and the schools will be closed.
The inspectorate instructed the school board to improve the policy, but because this advice was not implemented the foundation will receive a financial sanction of 15 percent of its funding. In addition, the Inspectorate will recover almost 300,000 euros in money wrongfully spent.
Reporting by ANP