SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Education minister Arie Slob has threatened to withdraw funding from a Hindu primary school in The Hague that has been at the centre of accusations of financial mismanagement.
The board at the city’s Algemene Hindoe Basisschool (General Hindu Elementary) is accused of misappropriating cash meant for educational materials and spending it on other facilities such as pupil transport.
Education inspectors also criticised the standard of teaching at the school as ‘well below standard’, particularly in the early years. Slob has said the ministry will stop the school’s funding unless it replaces the governing board, in a move that has overtones the ministry’s efforts to force the resignation of the board at the Cornelius Haga Lyceum, Amsterdam’s only Muslim secondary school.
The Hindu school in The Hague tried to persuade a court to block publication of the education inspectors’ report. The school has been run by an interim head, Edu Dumasy, since February after the previous board stepped down.
Dumasy told NRC that his team was working hard to address the issues raised by inspectors and had produced a 16-point plan identifying improvements. He says the interim board should be given time to turn round the school’s fortunes.
He admitted he faced a ‘chaotic situation’ when he took over in February, but the problems were being addressed. ‘On my first day there were five fights in the school playground,’ he said.
‘We all agree that something had to change.’ He said order and security had been restored on campus and the school was financially secure. ‘Everything is being fixed,’ he said.