With just two weeks before the school year begins, students at a private Islamic high school in Toronto are “devastated” and scrambling to find other options after they were informed over the weekend it was abruptly shutting down.
Management of the Islamic Foundation School, on Nugget Dr., said the sudden closure of the high school is related to “financial issues.” But the union representing teachers believes the move is a form of “reprisal” against employees who recently unionized — something the school denies.
News of the closure came as a shock to parents and the 150 affected students, many of whom have attended since they were in elementary school, and others who were hoping to graduate from one of the GTA’s oldest Islamic high schools, which opened its doors two decades ago. The foundation’s elementary school will remain open.
“This is so unfair,” said Anas Thakor, who is entering Grade 12. “It was supposed to be such an important year for us,” said Thakor, who inquired at the local Catholic school on Monday after hearing the news, but was told there might not be space to register so late in the summer.
“Chances are I will have to go somewhere far from home, and my friends,” he said.
Rumours about the closure had been swirling for weeks, but the news was confirmed at a heated parents’ meeting Sunday evening.
“We’re still absorbing the shock. We’re sad. We’re very disappointed,” said Jawad Jafry, who has had two children graduate from the high school. His daughter Nafeesah, a lifer, was to startGrade 12 this year.
On Monday, school officials sent parents an email saying “administrative and financial issues” led to the closure.