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‘Illegal’ schools are unsafe and provide sub-standard education

‘Illegal’ schools are unsafe and provide sub-standard education

Following a report earlier this month that New York rabbis are strongly resisting official attempts force ultra-Orthodox schools to provide pupils with a proper education, the BBC reports today that more than 100 suspected illegal schools are being operated in the UK.

Half are religious in nature, with a third of those being Islamic and the rest Jewish or Christian, according to education watchdog, Ofsted.

Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, above, said that evidence gathered during a  short investigative period:

Firmly reinforces my belief that there are many more children hidden away from the view of the authorities in unregistered schools across the country than previously thought.

During the inspectors’ visits, which took place last month, 350 children had been found on the premises of these schools, Sir Michael, adding that such schools provided a sub-standard education, placed children at risk and undermined the government’s effort to ensure all schools promote British values.

He pledged swift and decisive action against those who are operating illegal schools, and thereby putting children at risk of harm.

teitelbaum

In New York, officials investigating ultra-Orthodox schools were accused of being manipulated by “worthless snitches” in the community by Satmar leader, Hasidic rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, above, centre.

In response to the city Education Department’s apparently half-hearted investigation into schools failing to teach secular subjects as required by law, the rabbi said in a speech:

These are bad times for us Jews. We need to pray to God that (city officials) should not interfere with the upbringing of our children.

The New York Education Department last summer announced that it is investigating more than a dozen private schools to ensure their curriculum follows secular education standards.

That review remains ongoing nearly a year later.

Advocates contend the Education Department is just stalling.

Said Naftuli Moster, who founded Young Advocates for Fair Education, a group advocating for yeshivas to meet secular standards required by state law:

This speech is concerning in many ways. Most concerning is the apparent collusion between community leaders and the (department) which might explain why the city investigation stalled early on.

In July last year, according to the New York Times, Teitelbaum’s “worthless snitches – 52 parents, former students and former teachers sent a letter to New York City’s Education Department saying that 39 yeshivas were violating state law by not providing students, particularly boys, an adequate education in secular subjects like English, math and science. The Education Department said then that it would conduct an investigation of the yeshivas, located in Brooklyn and Queens.

But in April, the group behind the letter held a news conference in front of City Hall to express its frustration with the lack of any apparent progress in the investigation.

Moster said:

It’s eight months later, and there’s no sign of a serious investigation taking place. In fact, all indications are that the DOE. is just stalling us. In the meantime, tens of thousands of boys — we estimate around 30,000 — are not getting a basic education.”

The group’s lawyer, Norman Siegel, a longtime advocate for civil liberties, said he believed the reason the investigation was stalled was that city officials did not want to cross ultra-Orthodox leaders.

It’s about people putting politics over the rule of law.

Hat tip: AgentCormac and BarrieJohn (BBC report)

18 responses to “‘Illegal’ schools are unsafe and provide sub-standard education”

  1. Broga says:

    “…..the investigation was stalled was that city officials did not want to cross ultra-Orthodox leaders.”

    I would expect much the same here. You can slag off atheists as much as you like, deny them a voice on the BBC but what you must never do is challenge the religious bigots.

    I see some newly appointed senior man at the BBC (maybe the new top honcho) wants fewer Christian programmes and more on Islam and Hinduism. No mention from this man, handsomely paid from our forcibly extracted licence fee money, about some air time for atheists i.e. reason and temperate debate based on facts.

    Don’t expect our supine politicians to do anything. They have been ignoring the faith problem for years.

  2. barriejohn says:

    Great line on “Have I Got News For You?” tonight:

    “The great thing about academies is that they can’t be run at a profit, so they only attract people who really want to raise standards for students…or deny evolution, or introduce sharia law.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07bg6lm/have-i-got-news-for-you-series-51-episode-6

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    Yes, but what about the hundreds of illegal secular schools, with their critical thinking classes, their biology, their maths, and the rest? Why don’t we read about them?

    Because religion gets a pass every time it commits a crime while secular families play by the rules. That’s why there aren’t hundreds, or dozens, or a dozen, or a few, or perhaps any illegal secular schools.

  4. Wogglebong says:

    Terrorist incubators.

    The output of these schools will at best be bigoted fundamentalists who will make no effort to intergrate and turn swathes of the country into lawless unpoliceable enclaves and ghettos … lutonistan … bradfordistan … salfordistan. At worst we will get squads of lunatic fundamentalist jihadist murders squatting in our inner cities just waiting for the signal from some rabid sand pit terrorist. It’s already to late to act to stamp out the transplantation of islamic mini fiefdoms in to uk. Such places will soon be run by islamic Warlords. And then will we get gunpoint demands for independence? Better to act late than never.

  5. barriejohn says:

    But Richard Dawkins wanted to set up “an atheist free school” (yes, he would have to be in favour of brainwashing children as well, wouldn’t he?) and God gave him a stroke:

    https://youtu.be/La-8BCHsEeY

  6. barriejohn says:

    That last post of mine was a response to Trevor Blake’s comment, but I see that another comment now comes between them!

  7. Wogglebong says:

    BJ’whats the problem with Richard Dawkins?

  8. barriejohn says:

    Wogglebong: Nothing, but did you listen to that guy? He’s another “keyboard warrior” who makes ridiculous videos (he starts off by saying that Richard Dawkins is dead!), and thinks that that makes him a highly regarded “celebrity”. A secular free school would be free from ideological influence – not a training ground for little atheists, but they’d never grasp that fact!

    (PS Was my irony lost again?)

  9. Kinder says:

    BJ — you are not making sense to me at all. Sorry.

    Q – Do you think R Dawkins is doing admirable and necessary work defending science from the pious fundamentalists?

    If yes …. GOOD. End Of.

    If not then please say why

  10. barriejohn says:

    I give up!

  11. Cali Ron says:

    Kinder: Read the article from barriejohn’s link. In a nutshell Dawkins is against both religious and “atheist” schools because you shouldn’t indoctrinate children to any belief, but rather teach them to evaluate the facts and make their own decision, which if they are logical would by default be freethinkers or atheists.

  12. Kinder says:

    Then BJ and co please be more clear in what you post. Be clear.

  13. Peter Sykes says:

    Kinder:
    It was all perfectly clear to me…

  14. barriejohn says:

    Thanks; I’m not losing my marbles then!

    This is what it said:

    The author of The God Delusion, who has previously described religious education provided by faith schools as a form of child abuse, said he would want pupils to be taught to be skeptical and to appreciate the value of evidence rather than receive “indoctrination” about atheism.

  15. Kinder says:

    Be clear.

  16. Cali Ron says:

    barriejohn : I give up too.

  17. Daz says:

    “Be clear.”

    What, are we taking up Scientology now?