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Background and achievement levels of Islamic schools in the Netherlands : are the reservations justified?

Driessen, Geert and Bezemer, Jeff (1999) Background and achievement levels of Islamic schools in the Netherlands : are the reservations justified? Race, Ethnicity and Education, 2 (2). pp. 235-256. ISSN 1361-3324. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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In the past decades, efforts have been made in various countries in Western Europe to set up state-funded Islamic schools. Until recently, it was only in the Netherlands that these efforts were successful. At present, 28 Islamic primary schools are completely funded by the Dutch Government. They are attended by about 7000 pupils, who are largely of Moroccan and Turkish descent. The very existence of these schools is a highly controversial issue. In this article, the achievement levels, behaviour, attitudes and family background of pupils at 16 Islamic schools are compared with those of pupils at 16 schools with a comparable socio-ethnic pupil population and 432 schools from a nationally representative sample (a total of more than 40,000 pupils). With respect to their achievement levels, behaviour and attitudes, the analyses show that there are only very small, if any, differences between the Islamic and the comparable category of schools. However, their achievement levels are considerably lower than at the reference category of schools. With regard to the family background features, there are some minor differences between the pupils at the Islamic and the comparable schools. More of the parents view themselves as belonging to the Islamic community and they attach greater importance to the role of religion in the upbringing of their children. They are also less apt to view themselves as being part of the Dutch cultural community and speak less Dutch. For the time being, it can be concluded that pupils at the Islamic schools do not do any worse or any better than pupils at the schools with a comparable socio-ethnic disadvantage. Time will tell whether these schools will succeed at raising their pupils’ educational performance up to the level of non-disadvantaged pupils and how the pupils will ultimately come to function in Dutch society.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > London Knowledge Lab
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2014 13:48
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 09:06
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