TORONTO, ON, January 28, 2011 – Olive Tree Foundation has announced that a grant of $4,000 has been awarded to the Muslim Educational Network, Training & OutReach Services (MENTORS) for the “Ontario Association of Islamic Schools Action Planning Project”.
The Ontario Association of Islamic Schools Action Planning Project is an initiative to form an umbrella organization that looks after the collective needs of Islamic schools in the province.
"The Olive Tree Foundation is very pleased to fund this initiative that will bring together Islamic Schools in Ontario," said Muneeb Nasir, President of the Foundation, in announcing the grant. "Anytime we come together for the betterment of our children, their families and this society, we are making an important civic contribution.”
Ontario has over 50 Islamic schools that run privately and each school must register with the Ministry of Education in order to operate in Ontario. Unlike other Faith groups, Islamic schools do not have a school board.
Alimamy Bangura, Executive Director of MENTORS, outlined a number of benefits to be gained by creating an association of Islamic schools, such as providing professional services – social workers, psychologists, curriculum specialists, speech and language pathologists and special education experts to Islamic schools.
“One of the greatest pluses of such a body would be reducing costs related to education services such as purchasing equipment and supplies, text books, library resources, etc., in bulk to benefit from the economies of scale,” Bangura said.
He said that sharing best practices and advocating to government and other agencies on behalf of all Muslim schools on issues such as the tax system, funding and legal issues will be of vital importance.
The Olive Tree Foundation is a philanthropic foundation that promotes community development through the collection of endowed funds and charitable contributions to fund services for the long-term benefit of the community.