Will there be a start at the Averroès private high school in Lille in September? Georges-François Leclerc, the prefect of the North, decided this Thursday to terminate the ociation contract which linked the Muslim confessional establishment to the State, according to a letter that we were able to consult. A decision without surprise afterwards the negative opinion rendered by an educational commission which followed a vitriolic prefectural report.
As a result, the Averroès high school will lose the half-million euros in annual subsidies it received, as well as the full teachers made available by the rectorate. Enough to fear the end of a twenty-year adventure for this renowned establishment in the region which welcomes nearly 450 students and had concluded a partnership with Sciences-po Lille.
“Serious failings”, according to the prefect
In his decision, the prefect points to “serious shortcomings” in “content and resources” which “do not meet all of the programmatic expectations” of National Education. The inspection of the CDI shelves, for a time hampered by the management of the establishment, thus highlighted the absence of resources on certain themes such as “culture, relations between the sexes and ity” as well as a preponderance of religious works on Islam to the detriment of other religions.
The State representative also points out the presence of writings by Imam Han Iquioussen, close to the Brotherhood movement and deported a year ago to Morocco. The prefect also considers that “certain teachings are contrary to the values of the Republic”, in particular “during Muslim ethics courses”. According to him, certain members of the educational community “make comments hostile to republican values”.
In addition to educational content, the prefect finally deplores the creation of a precise file of National Education agents who come to carry out inspections as well as foreign funding, notably Qatar, in the past. A “lack of transparency and disinterest in the management of the establishment” is also singled out, with the regional audit chamber mentioning financial movements that could “potentially reflect the commission of one or more criminal offenses”.
The high school leaders forcefully denounced the prefectural report, considering in particular that part of its conclusions was based on the situation of the middle school adjoining the high school which is not under contract with the State.
Mohamed Damak, the head of the ociation to whom the prefect’s letter is addressed, had not yet received it this Sunday. However, he had few illusions about the state’s decision since the commission’s vote on November 27. He is now waiting to receive official notification to take legal action. The high school leaders wish to turn to the administrative court to request an interim suspension of the prefect’s decision.