A secondary boarding school for senior Muslim boys in South
Dunedin is now a certainty.
The sale of a former Roman Catholic school has been settled,
and plans for the site to be developed are well under way.
The former St Patrick's Primary School ,in Melbourne St,
which formerly belonged to the Dunedin Catholic Diocese, is
now wholly owned by the Al-Noor Charitable Trust, a
Christchurch-based charity established to develop Islamic
educational facilities in New Zealand.
Trust chairman Dr Mohammad Alayan said the sale of the
property had been completed and plans to establish the An-Nur
Kiwi Academy (AKA) on the site were going ahead.
Redevelopment work would begin next year, but plans for the
work were still being finalised, he said.
Because there was little room for playing fields, it was
hoped the academy would be able to lease nearby facilities
for activities like sport, he said.
''We hope to establish close relationships with the schools
The academy would operate as a not-for-profit school under
charitable status, and would accommodate about 100 year 11-13
boys from around New Zealand.
The trust wanted to establish the academy because it believed
Muslim children attending state secular schools were
subjected to an educational environment which pressured them
to adopt values which were contradictory to Islamic values,
such as evolution theory, sexual relations outside of
marriage and drinking alcohol.
Despite the academy's aim to provide a high-quality education
with an emphasis on the Islamic value system, Dr Alayan said
the New Zealand national curriculum would be taught by about
15-20 staff, who would include qualified Islamic studies and
Arabic language teachers. The academy will be the South
Island's first Islamic school.