Bradford Muslims Offended by Plan to Help Them Learn English…
A GOVERNMENT plan to help people in Bradford learn English has been described as “insulting and patronising.”
The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, has promised to expand the teaching of English for immigrants with £50million of funding, beginning in five pilot areas, including Bradford.
Communities Secretary Mr Javid said there was a “segregation problem” in some of England’s schools and action was needed to tackle it.
The proposed Integrated Communities Strategy calls on schools to teach “British values” and sets out plans to boost English language skills and encourage women from minority communities to find jobs.
However, Ishtaq Ahmed, a spokesman for the Bradford Council of Mosques, said Bradford’s problems are due to a lack of investment, not integration.
“Once again the Government is trying to push its agenda and Bradford is being wrongly targeted,” he said.
“Many of Bradford’s issues and problems are to do with the lack of Government investment in it.
“Unemployment and a lack of education and opportunities are a direct result of targeting Bradford and taking millions of pounds out it in the last five years.”
Mr Ahmed said he believes communities in the city are integrating and the Government’s plans are unnecessary.
“I think we do integrate,” he added.
“I have lived in Bradford for the last 50 years, my children and grandchildren were all born here, but the Government has its own unique perception of Bradford that is totally displaced.
“At local level we need to do more and more to make sure different communities are connected and we are working together.
“The plans are out of touch and its approach to Bradford is very superficial.”
The strategy also includes proposals to tighten registration of home-schooling to protect children against exposure to extremist ideology.
Cllr Simon Cooke, Bradford Council’s Conservative group leader, welcomed the announcement.
He said: “It’s great news that the Conservative government is investing to promote integrated communities in Bradford for all our efforts to bring communities together, there are still too many people with no or poor English skills, too few women from some communities who are in work, and too much segregation leading to mistrust and misunderstanding.
“This investment will help Bradford respond to the challenge of improving education, opportunity and social cohesion across the City and District.”
Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, said: “We want to make sure that all children learn the values that underpin our society - including fairness, tolerance and respect.
“These are values that help knit our communities together, which is why education is at the heart of this strategy.”