03/13/2016 05:48 EDT | Updated 03/13/2016 06:59 EDT

Quebec Funds Pilot Project At School With Radicalization Worries

MONTREAL — The Quebec government is offering a $400,000 grant to boost resources at a Montreal junior college that has been the subject of media reports concerning radicalization.

Higher Education Minister Helene David says the amount will be used in part to hire additional personnel at College de Maisonneuve as part of a pilot project to enhance harmonious living.

A statement says the project's goal is to help the school's communities live together.

Early last year, several of the college's students were among the group of young Montrealers arrested on suspicion of wanting to join jihadist groups overseas.

helene david denis coderre

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, right, and Quebec Higher Education Minister Helene David attend a news conference in Montreal on Sunday, where they announced funding to help prevent radicalization at a CEGEP school. (Photo: Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Two of them faced charges including attempting to leave Canada to commit a terrorist act abroad.

El Mahdi Jamali and Sabrine Djermane, both then 18, pleaded not guilty to four charges last April.

School director Malika Habel said Sunday morning she asked the government for help after recent incidents at the school that are part of a fallout from last year's tensions.

The school's administration has confirmed police were called to the school in early December after a fight broke out among a group of students.

It has also said the behaviour of certain students in the library has led to a `climate of tension' with staff, but denies local media reports that indicated the incidents are tied to radicalization.

Habel says the school has been taking steps to address the issue of radicalization and that no other students have tried to leave for Syria.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre describes the pilot project as an important tool to promote openness.