France: Muslim school “in danger of disappearance” asks the State for positive discrimination
In the great hall of access to the school-high-school Réussite in Auvervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis), a representative of the school receive the parents with the inscripctions “Good year 1429” written in a wall. Veiled women hurry from one place to another. The apparent calm does not hide the fact that the institution, the first of its class to be opened in France in 2001, is menaced.
The cause is the financial disaster of this private school: its debt has arisen to 361,000€. The institution has not been able to pay the last two months of salary to its teachers.
The school/high-school, which proposes an identical teaching program to the one taught in the public institutions, except for the one (non-compulsory) hour of Islamic teachings, has wanted to enter in a contract with the State during 5 years, as the Law permits. With this regime, the school would receive public finances from the Education Ministry to pay the 25 teachers. But during these 7 years, they haven’t received any fund, according to Dhaou Meskine, the imam of Clichy-sur-Bois, and founder of the school.
According to the Créteuil rectorate, the responsibles of the stablishment have not fulfilled all the conditions stablished by the law. The school would not be able to have those benefits more than 5 years. “Impossible!” says the imam who has already spent all the possible earnings, from the quantities giving by believers in mosques to the price payed by the parents. The latter have seen the price rise from 1,500€ to 2,000€ by yar, when the normal price in private schools is betwen 600€ to 1,000€.
The stablishment is seeing also how a lot of students (nearly the third of them) do not return, as Youseef Riahl, the main counsellor of Education, explains.
On Juin 2006 its founder has been investigated because of illegal financial and real state operations, linked to terrorism. The accusations are denied by Dhaou Meskine once and again. “That has discredited all our action”, Youssef Riahl, who demands “positive discrimination from the State to prevent the institution from disappearing”.
* According to the Muslim calender, the year 1429 is 2008 in Gregorian calender.
So basically the place is not succesful, mainly because its founder was investigated on terrorism charges and now they want the taxpayer to pay for their unsuccesful business…