Al-Madinah free school in Derby to stop secondary education

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Secondary education at the troubled Al-Madinah free school in Derby will stop in the summer because of government concerns about the quality of teaching.

A report from Ofsted in October found the Muslim faith school was chaotic, dysfunctional and inadequate and it was placed in special measures.

The primary school will remain open, the Department for Education has said.

The schools minister Lord Nash has written to the school trust chairman to confirm the secondary school closure.

It will close at the end of the summer term with support promised to help the 137 pupils find new schools.

'Focus efforts'

In a letter to Barry Day, the school's newly appointed chairman, Lord Nash said he was concerned about the poor quality of secondary teaching.

He said: "It was not in the interests of parents and pupils at the secondary school to continue to fund provision which has failed them."

Mr Day said in a letter to parents that he accepted the assessment and would find places for pupils in other local schools.

He confirmed that the primary school would remain open and improving it would be his main focus.

"Our vision remains to establish the Al-Madinah School as an outstanding all-through school for all members of the local community in and around Derby," he said.

"Every single member of staff wants this school to be successful but there is absolutely no doubt that many of the staff are inexperienced, some of the staff are not qualified and all of them need additional training to make this work."

Written By: BBC News
continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

26 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #2 by David W:

      I expect the teachers were too busy teaching about Mo and his flying horse to worry about silly things like science and mathematics.

      Indeed – I wonder which part the inspectors had a problem with?

      I mean… it’s all… so… plausible…

  1. The Government sets up a doctrinaire, crackpot, “free” school, faith school policy with a view to centres of learning being able to set their own agendas, and then, surprise surprise, it has to step in to close one of its products down because it’s gone haywire.

    This baby of theirs could well result in a post code education system.

    I feel very sorry for the children who’ve been subjected to having to go to this particular establishment, and I worry that many others will be put in the way of similar dogmatic dangers in establishments that will, if their record is anything to go by, undoubtedly try it on and teach Creationism/ID.

    “Prime Minister” – or should it be popinjay? – Blair, claimed that he had no “reverse gear”, but this nonsense that he set in train could put the education of our children back a long way if it isn’t abandoned or at least fundamentally modified.

  2. For the benefit of people not in the UK, our education secretary is a former Murdoch journalist called Michael Gove who is a man on a very dogmatic mission. He wants to create irreversible facts on the ground, a fait accompli of lots of “free schools” (his Big Idea) before the 2015 election, so a future government cannot reverse the policy.

    Personally I have no great antipathy to more parent choice. However I do have issues about large sums of taxpayers money being handed out to e.g. faith groups with close to zero due diligence, simply so Gove can claim credit for being midwife to X hundred of these things. Al Madinah is not the only one to have failed.

    There is also emerging evidence that the generously-funded free school programme is leaching money from established state schools, some of which have had to withdraw various subjects as a result.

    This is no way to run a state education system.

    Gove rhymes with Rove. Nuff said.

    • In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

      For the benefit of people not in the UK, our education secretary is a former Murdoch journalist called Michael Gove who is a man on a very dogmatic mission. He wants to create irreversible facts on the ground, a fait accompli of lots of “free schools” (his Big Idea) before the 2015 election, so a future government cannot reverse the policy.

      He has just replaced the head of OFSTED who apparently was not sufficiently a Yes-Person – like the rest of his “advisers”!
      .

  3. http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/group-parents-teachers-want-set-Free-Primary/story-17065717-detail/story.html

    No big surprise here, these schools are set up to enable easy privatisation, operate on the pretext of freeing them from restrictions that hold us state school heads back (for e example only being allowed to employ qualified teachers). They are being set up by middle class pressure groups where there are already sufficient school places at great cost and to the detriment of existing schools. Meanwhile in areas which have genuine need of new school places there’s no money. Even where money is available they have to become academies, which are effectively the same thing, on set up. The above example did not materialise largely because the ‘environment’ slant came from this lady’s role in the community as a crystal therapist, and something of a backlash from parents who objected to the unfounded criticism of the other local schools. Both head teachers’ quotes in the article were somewhat edited to help them come across as inclusive and reasonable. This application has gone away to be replaced by, you guessed it, an application for a Steiner free school. I despair!

    http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/Application-submitted-new-North-Devon-Steiner/story-20493640-detail/story.html

    The earlier comment about the new head of OFSTED (that benign agency that visited my school the first day back after christmas) is also interesting as the individual concerned is not only a close supporter of Gove but also has considerable financial interest in academy firms who hover in a very predatory way around schools who have difficult inspections, even before the result goes public. The other motivation is that Michael Wilshaw, who currently runs OFSTED, and widely seen as Gove’s bulldog, has allowed his stormtroopers to be critical of Free Schools (as above). Gove would like his flagship Free Schools to be removed from oversight so that totally predictable train wrecks like Al-Medinah can be swept under the carpet.

    As a country we are no longer in any position to call anyone else corrupt.
    (By the way we survived the inspection for anyone who was interested)

  4. The school is in a mess because the Board of Governors have appointed a non-Muslim head teacher along with couple of non-Muslim female teachers.There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. They do not understand and respect the needs and demands of the Muslim children. Majority of children are from Pakistan, they need to learn and be well versed in Urdu to keep in touch with their cultural heritage and enjoy the beauty of Urdu literature and poetry. It is their social and emotional language. The school does not teach Urdu language. The school only teaches Arabic language which is a religious language. A Muslim must learn and be well versed in standard English, Arabic and Urdu and other community languages. A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit.

    There is no requirement for teaching staff to hold appropriate qualifications or have the necessary experience; there is no requirement to follow the national curriculum, which does work towards recognised qualifications. In my town the children attending the state schools have below average attainments at GCSE compared to the national average. The children are not achieving their full potential and are being let down by the qualified teachers at these schools. Although I’ve no doubt that there are many non-’qualified’ people who could teach as well as, or better than, many of those certificated to do so. A very real concern is that those who teach in state schools (often also including “assistants”) lack proficiency in the subjects they teach, even at the most basic levels. In those circumstances, what they are doing is not teaching, but inculcating wrong information or none at all. Curriculum seems to have been dumbed down to accommodate teachers who probably would never have passed the subject at O level in times gone by – let alone A level or a degree.

    I heard 3 parents being interviewed on the radio a little while ago, and god help me they were actually quite happy with the school! It would seem that the spirit of the Crusades is alive and well. Al-Madinah is certainly not the only failing school in the country. However, seasoned Ofsted report readers will I hope agree that we have never read such a damning report. Words like “dysfunctional”, “woefully inadequate” and “chaotic” do not normally feature in Ofsted reports, even when they are slating a school. The evidence is surely the 173 Free Schools that have, minor teething troubles aside, opened perfectly successfully – many opened by teams that have never opened a schools before. That’s the reality. So a Muslim school (which it seems retains a great deal of parental backing) has come a cropper with serious questions to answer. It seems however, despite the odd teething troubles (buildings, Ofsted confusion over Montessori methods, etc.) here and there, that the other 173 Free Schools have opened successfully against a backdrop of ideological sniping from local authorities, the Labour Party and teaching Unions. So the Free School failure rate so far is 0.6%. Disarray for sure. State schools get appalling Ofsted reports as well. There will be good and bad state schools and good and bad free schools.

    State schools get appalling Ofsted reports as well. There will be good and bad state schools and good and bad free schools. Muslim Girls school tops state school rankings in Blackburn. Yet, the only news we get is about a failing school in Derby. There are good Muslim schools and there are bad ones. However, let’s be blunt, negative stories about Muslims predominate. There is a reason for that. And no, it’s not because Muslims predominantly do negative things. While it’s great that a Muslim school toped some ranking that isn’t news – just like the many Christian and secular schools that top local rankings aren’t. There is a very obvious reason why there are more negative stories about Islam than positive ones.It is funny how negative Muslim stories are given front page and positive Muslim stories are packed away where you have to actively look for them. What about the Catholic church for example: White British men who abused boys and were just placed in different institutions when caught and protected by their superiors.Or is it because we are white that we don’t behave badly or are blameless for any bad behaviour?
    Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental period. This is the only solution for them to keep away from the evils of western society. Let them teach what ever the native Brits would like to teach their children. It is a crime against humanity to keep sending Muslim children to state and church schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers. This is why the legal definition of genocide includes cultural killing, not only actually killing. British education is the home of institutional racism and British teachers are chicken racist.

    What gives OFSTED the right, or indeed any Brit, to preach to minority groups about how they should live their lives. This is a cosmopolitan country, the Muslim community have the right to educate their children how they choose. Studying the Qur’an will certainly help towards these children becoming fully integrated citizens of the UK.

    A quarter of a million extra school places will be needed in England by autumn 2014 to meet rising demand, the National Audit Office (NAO) is warning. The spending watchdog said one in five primary schools in England was full or near capacity and there were signs of “real strain” on places. The demand for places has been driven by the birth rate rising more quickly than at any time since the 1950s.

    The solution of this problem is very simple. There are hundreds of state and church schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies.

    It will satisfy the needs of those native parents who do not want to send their children to those schools where the number of Muslim children is on the increase.

    Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental period. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.

    The Muslims don’t want to integrate or abide by western law. Just because they don´t want to wear nude clothes or at least cloth that can show how big her breast are… so these people failed to integrate. Just because they don’t like free sex, then these people failed again.. what a dirty Bush mind you have!

    Speaking English does not promote integration into British, American and Australian societies, and broaden opportunities. English speaking Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist, thanks to state schools with monolingual non-Muslim teachers and English language. English language is not only a lingua franca but also lingua frankensteinia. Human right are also covers linguistic right. Cultural and linguistic genocide are very common. British schooling is murdering community languages like Arabic, Urdu and others. English is today the world killer language. Linguistic genocide is a crime against humanity and British schooling is guilty of committing this crime. Language is not just a language. It defines one’s culture, identity and consciousness. It defines how we think, communicate and express ourselves. The fact is the most South Asian Muslims have come to know Islam by way of Urdu, the children’s alienation from the language that connects them the heritage of their parents and grand parents is disturbing. As a matter of fact, one has to get to know his mother tongue well if one is to master any other language.
    Iftikhar Ahmad
    London School of Islamics Trust
    [Link removed by moderator]

    • In reply to #9 by iftikhar.ahmad.779857:

      The school is in a mess because the Board of Governors have appointed a non-Muslim head teacher along with couple of non-Muslim female teachers.There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. They do not understand and respect the needs and demands of the Muslim children….

      What total utter rubbish. Fanatical muslims or theists of any religion should not be allowed anywhere near children. And who are you to say what religion a child is, or will be?

      As for not understanding your cultural background, well I think most of the people on this site understand far too clearly, that there are some religiously deluded parents who need to indoctrinate anyone and everyone with their religious stupidity. And the easist victims are their own children. This child abuse, Under the cover of parental rights.

      I pity your children.

    • In reply to #9 by iftikhar.ahmad.779857:

      The school is in a mess because the Board of Governors have appointed a non-Muslim head teacher along with couple of non-Muslim female teachers.There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. They do not understand and respect the needs and demands of the Muslim children….

      This presents a chilling example of the parochial attitudes engendered by this particular set of dogmas, and I find it disturbing.

      It stems from a mentality ripe for radicalization.

      I sense a cauldron of superiority and contempt.

      If I hated a country, its culture and its people as much as this individual obviously does, I would choose to reside elsewhere.

      But then I’d have no one to blame for my problems except myself; a tricky one!

    • In reply to #9 by iftikhar.ahmad.779857:

      There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school…..

      Just like there is no place for a non-Muslim child or a non-Muslim teacher in a Muslim country?

      With an ideaology like that I sincerely hope that Islam never ever reaches a majority in Great Britain. We all know how that will pan out for non-Muslims don’t we.

      • In reply to #13 by I-am-not-a-theist:

        In reply to #9 by iftikhar.ahmad.779857:

        There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school…..

        Just like there is no place for a non-Muslim child or a non-Muslim teacher in a Muslim country?

        With an ideaology like that I sincerely hope that Islam never ever reaches a majority in Great Britain. We all know how that will pan out for non-Muslims don’t we.

        Fret ye not.

        Channel 4 News FactCheck: will Britain have a Muslim majority by 2050?

        “…FactCheck wouldn’t bet on the British Muslim population ever topping 10 per cent, let alone 50 per cent.”


        How comes this thread don’t appear in the NEWS column on the main page? What’s goin’ on there?

        • In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

          In reply to #13 by I-am-not-a-theist:

          In reply to #9 by iftikhar.ahmad.779857:

          There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school…..

          Just like there is no place for a non-Muslim child or a non-Muslim teacher in a Muslim country?

          With an ideaology like that I sincerely hop…

          Absolutely – it won’t happen. Either here or anywhere else in the West.

    • In reply to #9 by iftikhar.ahmad.779857:

      The school is in a mess because the Board of Governors have appointed a non-Muslim head teacher along with couple of non-Muslim female teachers.There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. They do not understand and respect the needs and demands of the Muslim children….

      Wow… welcome to Troll City Central pal, you win this week’s award…

      Obviously you only wrote your novella of poison to wind people up on this site, but it does sadden me that there are people in the world – even more so living in this country – who hold such sick, perverted, warped views of reality.

      Are you seriously saying that Muslims in this country go abroad and train as terrorists because they are only taught English in school???

      Also, how can you, as a member of the world’s most intolerant religion, seriously talk about OFSTED preaching to people on how to live their lives???

      And if you Muslims (as you seemingly claim to be speaking for all of them) really don’t want to integrate and live by Western laws, then get lost!

      Seriously, get on a plane and fly to the nearest Sharia hell-hole and stay there.

      And take everyone that thinks the same as you with you.

    • In reply to #9 by iftikhar.ahmad.779857:

      English speaking Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist, thanks to state schools with monolingual non-Muslim teachers and English language.

      So, what then causes the violent and destructive extremism in non English speaking muslim youths in places like Palestine, who have never had the corrupting effect of learning the language of their adoptive country?

      As to the rest of it, what utter tripe, and nasty and bigoted tripe at that.

    • In reply to #9 by iftikhar.ahmad.779857:
      The Muslims don’t want to integrate or abide by western law. Just because they don´t want to wear nude clothes or at least cloth that can show how big her breast are… so these people failed to integrate. Just because they don’t like free sex, then these people failed again.. what a dirty Bush mind you have!

      So please remind me why you are living in Britain? Why not Pakistan or some other Muslim country?

      • In reply to #18 by David W:

        So please remind me why you are living in Britain? Why not Pakistan or some other Muslim country?

        A Muslim school friend of my daughter (in part of the UK – where Muslims are small minority), seemed to have integrated sufficiently well to refuse to go to Pakistan for an arranged marriage.

    • In reply to #9 by iftikhar.ahmad.779857:

      The Muslims don’t want to integrate or abide by western law. Just because they don´t want to wear nude clothes or at least cloth that can show how big her breast are… so these people failed to integrate. Just because they don’t like free sex, then these people failed again.. what a dirty Bush mind you have!

      Oh dear! “Nude clothes”????? Project much???

      My mother had big breasts, my wife has big breasts, my daughter has big breasts. My sons and I have small breasts!

      It is called “human anatomy”! Get educated and get over it!

    • In reply to #9 by iftikhar.ahmad.779857:

      Just because they don’t like free sex, then these people failed again.. what a dirty Bush mind you have!

      Honest question, I am interested in the response. In my view, a mindset that condones forced marriages of young girls to old men, condones the stoning to death of women, condones, encourages even, the removal of the clitoris of young girls, and demands a plethora of misogynistic practices that are abhorrent in the civilized world qualifies as a “Dirty mind” far more than does mine, which asks none of these things of women, and is in fact appalled by them.

      Could you please explain how these things are not as I see them.

    • In reply to #9 by iftikhar.ahmad.779857:
      >

      What gives OFSTED the right, or indeed any Brit, to preach to minority groups about how they should live their lives. This is a cosmopolitan country, the Muslim community have the right to educate their children how they choose. Studying the Qur’an will certainly help towards these children becoming fully integrated citizens of the UK.

      I see! A bit like the the example of cosmopolitan “education in tolerance, consideration, and understanding, of other views” shown here:-

      http://bt.com.bn/2014/02/14/propagating-religion-other-islam-crime-under-syariah-law

  5. In reply to #9 by iftikhar.ahmad.779857:

    t is a crime against humanity to keep sending Muslim children to state and church schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers.

    Oh dear.

    If it matters that much to them they can be educated in a Muslim state, not here.

    Having a British education in Britain is not a crime against humanity.

    Presumably they or their forebears came to Britain because they preferred Britain to wherever they came from. From that point on there is a basic social responsibility to integrate, and not voluntarily to live in some self-created ghettoes.

  6. iftikhar.ahmad.779857

    Studying the Qur’an will certainly help towards these children becoming fully integrated citizens of the UK.

    Yeah sure ! Learning useful stuff like salt water and fresh water don’t mix ? That Adam was the first man ? That Allah split the moon in half ? That Mohammed rode to heaven on a winged horse ?

    Yeah really useful stuff for the modern world, which you seem to despise so much.

    Sorry, my friend , but the Koran has nothing useful to teach me or my children. It’s an obsolete book of fairy stories. Yet you want it taught to kids ?

    • In reply to #22 by Mr DArcy:
      >

      …the Koran has nothing useful to teach me or my children. It’s an obsolete book of fairy stories.

      Apparantly, the Koran is mostly “Knock-Knock” jokes. According to Captain Hero from Drawn Together.

  7. @ iftikhar.ahmad

    Well, not sure where to start with this almost Olympian display of unfamiliarity, both of the issue on which you appear eager to pontificate and more worryingly, the fundamental misapprehension in relation to the islands and the culture in which you appear to be domiciled, I have to admit though, to a grudging wonderment at the apparent lack of any understanding of the culture in which you find yourself, so let’s start at the beginning and work our way through your post with good humour and a large amount of stoicism.

    “There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.”

    That sir, is factually incorrect, the schools own admission policy requires it to admit 50% of pupils that have either no religion or are of a different religion, this inclusive admissions policy was core to its submission for public funds, and the school failed to administer the policy, The school was not a private institution, it was funded by the public purse and it is perfectly reasonable therefor, to expect the school administration to honour its commitments, which had been central to the decision to provide it with funding.

    “They do not understand and respect the needs and demands of the Muslim children”

    The British taxpayer has no obligation to either understand nor respect the religion of children’s parents, the fact that this school was funded by the taxpayer, only infers that a courtesy had been extended, not that a right had been granted, and need I remind you that respect is not a right that can be demanded, but a privilege that is earned.

    “He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit”

    There are three “mother tongues” spoken in the UK, four if one includes Ireland, They are Welsh, English, Scottish and Irish Gaelic, many people in Wales are bilingual, even if they do not speak German or French, they are well versed in their “mother tongue” and English, they also maintained their national identity, culture and language, whilst situated within the breast of the largest empire the world has yet seen, an admirable feat for such a small nation don’t you agree? One wonders how much you really know about the islands in which you find yourself, or is it as I suspect, you conflate London and English with Britain and being British?

    “Curriculum seems to have been dumbed down to accommodate teachers who probably would never have passed the subject at O level in times gone by – let alone A level or a degree.”

    Well, to be blunt is this not the primary responsibility of the Governing body and head teacher? Your criticism of state education may well be correct, but unfortunately, pointing out the inadequacies elsewhere does not mitigate those found in an institution, that voluntarily choose to shoulder the responsibility of providing education and was in receipt of public money for so doing, end of story, to say that it was shut down as part of some “crusade” against Muslims, seems to ignore completely the fact the school was funded, built and financially supported, by the same people who “crusaded” against it, that does seem to me a rather obtuse argument to say the least.

    “While it’s great that a Muslim school toped some ranking that isn’t news”

    Well yet again, that is factually incorrect, it made national headlines and was even reported in the Daily Mirror, so your point is? What about the success of certain Welsh Schools, did they receive national headlines; what about the exam success in Scottish Grammar schools did they get equal coverage? No they did not.

    “It is a crime against humanity to keep sending Muslim children to state and church schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers.”

    I think I’ll let that statement speak for itself, but I will make one observation, it is certainly a crime against children to wilfully provide them with inadequate education and to fail to prepare them to succeed in the culture in which they find themselves.

    “What gives OFSTED the right, or indeed any Brit, to preach to minority groups about how they should live their lives.“

    Well absolutely none of course, I doubt any “Brit” would be as arrogant as you suggest, but when you extend your hand, ask for and receive money from the public purse, well now, that is an entirely different thing all together, wouldn’t you agree? But again, if I could make a small but important correction, OFSTED not only has the “right” it has a duty to enforce certain regulations, statutes, standards and yes preach to “minorities” if they fail to meet the minimum requirements expected of them, irksome I know, but there you have it, democracy, rule of law and all that…

    “English is today the world killer language. Linguistic genocide is a crime against humanity and British schooling is guilty of committing this crime. Language is not just a language. It defines one’s culture”

    Well, what language do you propose that the English Speak? You do live in London I assume, London is located in England, even if one were to suspect it is not “of” England, is it so unreasonable to you that schools so situated actually teach… English?

    I’m beginning to suspect that you argue for unwarranted privilege for your particular minority, and have the temerity to denigrate those who owe you no obligation whatsoever, as a small child might rile at the unfairness inherent in life and the rules imposed by others, your view amounts to little more than the stomping of feet and babble.

    Kind regards,

    Brit.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/taheedul-islam-girls-high-school-2321831

    http://almadinahschool.org.uk/uploads/Al-Madinah-School-Admissions-Policy.pdf

    • In reply to #24 by ShinobiYaka:

      You make some good points, which I will elaborate on:-

      @ iftikhar.ahmad – “Curriculum seems to have been dumbed down to accommodate teachers who probably would never have passed the subject at O level in times gone by – let alone A level or a degree.”

      Well, to be blunt is this not the primary responsibility of the Governing body and head teacher?

      The iftikhar.ahmad claim is backwards! It is the Al-Madinah teachers who were not able to cope with the N.Curriculum, not a problem with the content of the curriculum.

      It is of course the religio-politically motivated “Free Schools”, “Academies” and private schools, which are allowed to employ unqualified inexperienced people as teachers. Staff in state schools have to have studied [1](usually to degree level) and been trained in teaching methods. The GCSE requirements, are about width of MINIMUM capability in core subjects, outside of their degree specialisms.

      The National Curriculum sets standards and content for subjects to be taught. Examinations and OFSTED Inspections monitor the delivery, with improvements being required if these are not up to standard. Every now and then, some thick politician is quoted in the media, – pointing out that about 50% are below average!

      Your criticism of state education may well be correct,

      There have been some unfavourable comparisons with leading European countries lately, but having said that, my son and daughter passed “A” levels from a top OFSTED rated school following the same National Curriculum – to then continue with university degrees. One is working as head of development at an IT company, the other is working as a Lawyer. The National Curriculum seems to have worked for them.

      but unfortunately, pointing out the inadequacies elsewhere does not mitigate those found in an institution,

      The supposed “inadequacies elsewhere”, appear to way above the standards of Al-Madinah, which seems to have reached bottom position in the league for failing schools requiring closure. It remains to be seen if its junior department will come up to scratch, after sackings and reorganisations, – or if it will follow into closure.

      [1] http://www.skill.org.uk/page.aspx?c=264&p=383

      You must have the equivalent of at least GCSE grade C in English and Mathematics. If you want to teach in primary or in secondary up to the age of 14 you also need the equivalent of at least GCSE grade C in Science.

      Anyone wanting to teach in England and Wales must then get a degree and complete initial teacher training (ITT).

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