France’s first Muslim secondary school Lycée Averroès has topped the country’s league table
Elham Asaad Buaras
France’s first Muslim secondary school located in the rundown part of Lille has topped the country’s league table with a 100 per cent pass rate in the baccalaureate, the French equivalent of A Levels.
Lycée Averroès Head Teacher, Hassan Oufker, said that the defining moment for the school came in 2008 when it became the only Muslim school in France to win Government subsidies. “We set out to show that, in spite of the perception of Islam in France, it was possible for French Muslims to work hand-in-hand with the State and succeed,” Oufker said.
Almost all of the 340 pupils come from economically disadvantaged and immigrant backgrounds. Their parents pay fees of up to £1,000 per year, depending on their income.
The school also receives donations from the local Muslim community and about 60 per cent of pupils benefit from scholarships.
It teaches the national curriculum and offers optional classes on Islam.
The French Ministry of Education does not produce an official league table of secondary schools, but several French newspapers have published rankings based on its figures for 2012.
The newspaper Le Parisien compiled two tables, one based on exam results, in which the Lycée Averroès was placed first. In the other table, measured by different criteria and it came third, after a Catholic and Jewish school.