Many will be closedYemen’s religious schools investigated [Archives:2005/824/Local News]

March 14 2005

Mohammed bin Sallam
Yemen's cabinet is studying a report for Yemen's 4,000 religious schools that are out of the government's official control, belonging to various local and external authorities.

According to the report, most of the schools belong to private authorities, religious personalities, or local political parties. They are supervised by some questionable Yemeni and non-Yemeni charitable societies and they are financed by unknown sources listed as charities.

“The census of religious schools, teachers, students and curricula show the harm that threatens the safety and security of the society in the future throughout the outcome of these schools that teach curricula and books with different resources,” said Yahya al-Najjar, Deputy Minister of Endowment and Guidance.

“Those books contain extremist thoughts and attitudes towards the other cultures, but are approved only by some of the religious sects exploiting the religious education aiming to give a negative picture on our religion and homeland,” added Al-Najjar.

He said there are a great number of foreign teachers and students who are working for these schools and some of them are not paid, but they are hosted by a number of charity societies. Some of them belong to Islah party. Tens of these schools rely on the books of Al-Wahabi sect though they are called 'Ahl al-Sunah and Al-Jama'ah'.

Yemen decided in June to close the religious schools unless they are under the frame of the educational system in Yemen.

A committee of the Ministry of Endowment and Justice and the Ministry of Education was formed at that time to evaluate these schools' work and take the census.