Britain Trying to Break a Cycle of Illiteracy and Poverty
At present there are thousands of ultra-Orthodox children not receiving an education, adequate enough to prepare them for life. Many graduate school with little or no ability to speak, read or write in English and many lack skills like basic mathematics. While New York struggles with this issue, in Britain the government is doing something about it.
In an article on BBC News, officials are cracking down on schools which are not abiding by laws requiring that register and that they teach a specific number of legally determined classes and subjects. The schools in the article are referred to as “illegal private schools” and the crackdown is not just limited to “Charedi” schools but also to stricter Christian and Muslim groups which are not educating their children in accordance with British law.
Specifically regarding Charedi Education, the article states:
For boys under the age of 13, some parents want only a few hours of secular education each week.
From interviews conducted by Newsnight with current and former community members, an hour a day of such study seems the typical amount. A former pupil told us they received “two hours a week for English and maths”. The rest of the time was spent studying scripture and was taught in Yiddish.
Around the age of 13, the boys move to “yeshivas”. These schools often have very long school days – lasting more than 14 hours. Pupils are exclusively taught in Yiddish and only study scripture. They are not entered for GCSEs or for other qualifications.
Former pupils who left the community described struggling with English and maths, in particular, because of this education and one said he was “very unhappy with the education I received. I’m struggling to find a job because of that”.
Some of the schools and yeshivas are run in contravention of the 2008 Education and Skills Act, which stipulates that “a person must not conduct an independent educational institution unless it is registered”.
An individual convicted of running an unregistered school could face up to a year in prison. Ofsted and the DfE began a crackdown on illegal schools in January.
The DfE says: “We have announced an escalation of Ofsted investigations into unregistered schools, with additional inspectors dedicated to rooting them out, a new tougher approach to prosecuting them and a call to local authorities to help identify any settings of concern.”
Ofsted says it has inspected and closed seven illegal schools across the country since last November – including a Charedi school.
Even though the institutions are currently on high alert, however, Newsnight established the location of four unregistered Charedi schools with relative ease.
We also established that whistleblowers had alerted the DfE to all four. Newsnight has been asked not to publish the locations of the schools by anti-semitism experts.
To read the entire article click, here.
To view the report on dailymotion.com follow the link below.