From the New Zealand Herald, with thanks to Stuart:
The country’s only co-educational Islamic school has been put under direct Government control amid concerns that its cultural environment is clashing with its education obligations.
Al-Madinah School in Mangere, Manukau City, has been under fire for several years for prioritising religion at the expense of the curriculum and segregating staff and students according to gender.
Successive Education Review Office reports have drawn attention to problems of “governance and segregation”, and a limited statutory manager was installed in 2002.
But the Ministry of Education has now drafted in Dennis Finn – the man who took over at troubled Cambridge High School last year – to haul the 360-student school into line.
Melissa O’Carroll, the acting northern region manager for schools, said Mr Finn’s appointment as commissioner was “to support the school and enable it to strengthen educational outcomes for all its students”.
The school has made concessions to the review office. It reversed a 2003 decision to cease education for girls beyond Year 8 and last year extended the length of the school day to accommodate prayer and lessons.
But a new ERO report has sparked the overhaul, with Education Minister
Trevor Mallard dissolving the board of trustees after seeing the