A multimillion-dollar secondary boarding school for
Muslim boys is to go ahead in South Dunedin, the Al-Noor
Charitable Trust has confirmed.
Trust chairman Dr Mohammad Alayan said the $8 million An-Nur
Kiwi Academy (AKA) would be open by January 1, 2017 and was
expected to educate about 100 year 11 to 13 boys from across
It would be based at the former St Patrick's Primary School
in Melbourne St, which the trust plans to develop.
Dr Alayan said resource consent had been granted to run the
site as an education facility, and part of the premises was
already being used as an early childhood education service
for the Dunedin Muslim community.
It opened in April this year and has a roll of 17 children.
However, the trust had decided to delay a decision about
whether to build accommodation for the boarding school on
site, he said.
Development plans for the school show a new gymnasium with a
footprint about the same size as the existing classroom
block, a cafeteria and a mosque.
The trust had hoped to have the academy up and running by
February this year, but it had a setback when the project
failed to gain Ministry of Education funding as a charter
The trust's academy proposal was among 35 applicants to the
Ministry of Education to establish a charter school. Only
five were selected for funding.
Dr Alayan said the trust wanted to establish AKA in Dunedin
because it believed Muslim children attending state secular
schools were subjected to an educational environment that
pressured them to adopt values that contradicted Islamic
values, such as evolution theory, sexual relations outside
marriage and drinking alcohol.
The academy aims to provide a high-quality education with an
emphasis on the Islamic value system, but Dr Alayan said the
New Zealand national curriculum would be taught by about 15
to 20 staff, including qualified Islamic studies and Arabic