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Passion Islam I December 2009 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 11
Many Muslim
could close
Many independent Muslim schools in operating on a shoestring budget. Bangladesh instead.
England are under threat of closure, Dr Mukadhum said: ‘’Many of If the school closes, Dr Ramzy
according to the Association of them have been relatively recently fears that more students will be sent
Muslim Schools (AMS). established so there has always been abroad because parents do not want
The organisation, which some financial struggle. their children going to a state school.
represents almost 100 independent “But the economic crisis has put He said: ‘’It will be very sad
Islamic institutions, said many could them under enormous pressure and because they won’t get the same
not afford to stay open. they are getting through each day quality of education and some may
Most schools use fees and with great difficulty,’’ he said. just end up getting married and not
donations to cover costs and need ‘’The possibility of closing down completing their studies at all.’’
about £2000 per pupil per year to is a looming reality and the smaller Independent faith schools that
stay afloat. schools are the ones that are most are struggling to operate have the
But the recession has seen vulnerable,’’ he added. option of joining the state sector and
donations fall and parents unable to The Iqra Girls’ School in Oxford becoming a Voluntary Aided School
pay fees. is one of the private independent (VAS).
The threat applies to “almost schools on the brink of closure. This status means they will
all” of the 130 Muslim faith schools Head teacher Dr Hojjat Ramzy receive all their running costs from
in England, according to the said there was not enough funding to the government and will not be able
association. run the school and they could be left to charge fees.
Among these, 119 are independent with no choice but to close the only The school will have to follow the
and reliant on fees and donations, Islamic school in Oxford. National Curriculum, but it may teach
but 11 are in the state sector so have ‘’Most of the charitable donations Religious Education according to its
guaranteed income and are not under we relied on have dried up and many own affiliated faith.
threat. parents have taken their kids out The government has said it is
Dr Mohammed Mukadhum, the of the school because they can no keen to move more faith schools into
chairman of AMS, said the schools, longer afford the fees,’’ he said. the state sector. - BBCweb
attended by thousands of pupils, Some parents have sent their
were hand-to-mouth organisations, children to schools in Pakistan and
London police stop and search
doubles again on ethnic minority
The Metropolitan police doubled 10 and 17 searched by police rose A breakdown of the figures show
the number of stop and search of by 49% to 185,489 from 123,819 in that ethnic minority children were
primary school children from an Afro- 2007-8. targeted most in the increase, with the
Caribbean and Asian background in Ben Bowling, professor of number of 10-year-old Asian children
London last year, according to new criminology and criminal justice at stopped rising by 130% and Afro-
official figures. The police said the King’s College, London, warned Caribbean by 100%, compared to a
increased use of the controversial that stop and search is a “blunt tool 54% increase for white youngsters.
powers is to tackle the carrying of which can do more harm than good, After the election of Conservative
weapons, but critics have warned especially when it is targeted unfairly mayor, Boris Johnson, in May 2008,
that it risks alienating ethnic minority against children as young as 10.” the Metropolitan Police introduced
youngsters. “I’d like to see the evidence that greater use of stop and search powers
Children as young as 10 years old London’s black communities support in an attempt to halt the increase in
were stopped 755 times between April the widespread searching of 10-year- youth homicides, mainly through knife
2008 and March 2009, an increase of olds. I think there must be a better way crimes. Johnson had called for tough
80% on the previous year. Overall, the to keep our children safe,” Bowling action.
number of youngsters aged between said.
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