Muslims decry lack of Islam school teachers
Lack of teachers to impart Islam has lead community leaders to question Spanish government’s commitment to freedom of religion.5 May 2008
SPAIN - A shortage of teachers of Islam to impart classes to the almost 120,000 Muslim children in Spain's schools is leading Islamic community leaders to question the government's commitment to freedom of religion.
In the current school year, there are just 41 Islamic teachers in Spain's schools, more than half of them in the North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, according to figures from the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE). That equates to one teacher for every 2,900 students.
As a result, few Muslim schoolchildren have the chance to receive instruction in their own religion, unlike Catholic schoolchildren whose needs are met by 15,000 religion teachers appointed by the Church and paid by the government.
By law, Muslim schoolchildren are entitled to be taught Islam just as Catholics are taught Catholicism.
The UCIDE says the shortfall is "provocative". The government says it cannot find a sufficient number of adequately qualified teachers.
[El Pais / Expatica]