AMSTERDAM, 27/04/07 – A school in Amsterdam has halted lessons on rural life because the Islamic children refused to talk about pigs. Reporting this, Alderman Lodewijk Asscher said he wants to take “tough measures.” Subsidies for all kinds of dubious groups must stop and parents of unruly children penalised financially.
Asscher told newspaper De Volkskrant: “A primary school in Amsterdam-Noord has decided no longer to teach about living on a farm. Various pupils began to demolish the classroom when the pig came up for discussion. Apparently it has gone that far. These children, 9, 10 years old, have not been given even the most elementary rules at home about why they must go to school.”
Asscher, who is also the Labour (PvdA) leader in Amsterdam, wants to subject the parents to an ‘upbringing requirement,’ enforced with negative financial spurs. He is thinking of cuts in the children’s allowance or lower welfare payments. In the Lower House, Youth and Family Minister Rouvoet recently rejected a plea for this from Party for Freedom (PVV).
Asscher also wants to prune the forest of subsidies for all kinds of foundations and organisations that say they work for multicultural goals. They receive 160 million euros annually from Amsterdam. Asscher wants to work out for each of these organisations in the “welfare industry” whether they do useful work and if not, halt the subsidy.
Asscher gave an example of abuse: “A Moroccan man took 50 youths off the streets, who were really an enormous nuisance. Now they collect wheelchairs for the handicapped in Surinam, Morocco and Turkey. Suddenly, a welfare body was set up alongside him, which is now trying to take the boys over from him, because they would then receive subsidies of 4,000 to 6,000 euros per kid. They are too timid to take these lads of the street themselves and now want them in their card-index because of the subsidy. Our Moroccan volunteer does not want to do it any more. I understand him.”
Asscher is also shocked by the powerlessness of welfare bodies who try to talk criminal youngsters back onto the right track. In Slotervaart district, a mother of 10 children, of whom half have a criminal record, is guided by 35 different social workers, the alderman discovered. They have little or no idea of what each other is doing, according to Asscher.