Lale Youth International School
28 June 2010. A report by the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) into Lale Youth International School on Hulhumale has recommended that the Education Ministry terminate its contract with Maldives-registered company Biz Atoll Pvt Ltd to manage Lale Youth International School, “and hand over management as soon as possible to a qualified party.
The government-run Fareediyya School was handed to Biz Atoll and a group of philanthropic Turkish businessmen in 2008, under an agreement made between Biz Atoll and the Education Ministry during the former administration.
The HRCM report also recommended that the school move to “dismiss employees with criminal records” and amend the school’s child protection policy to ensure that “inappropriate persons” did not work with students, and amend employment contracts “to allow adequate disciplinary action” against those suspected of physical abuse.
The HRCM report also raised concerns about the school’s adherence to employment practices in the Maldives, noting “allegations of discrimination and mistreatment of Asian and Maldivian staff”. It recommended the school establish both a school board, as required by law, and a mechanism for teachers to resolve employment issues.
Furthermore, the Education Ministry should formulate regulations governing international schools “to ensure supervision and monitoring by the ministry as a regulatory body”, and “establish guidelines to conduct follow-ups to supervision reports.”
HRCM has recommended the government repossess Lale School from Biz Atoll
The arrangement with the Turkish funders of the school would “definitely” continue, Managing Director of Biz Atoll, Abdulla Jameel noted.
The report was critical of the ministry’s decision to review the contract with Biz Atoll during the investigation, Deputy Minister of Education Dr Abdullah Nazeer noted.
There were only “very general written regulations” governing the ministry’s role in supervising privately-owned and operated schools, he noted. “The regulations do not specifically say the government should intervene,” he said.