Last year they received a refusal. Now the Muslim Foundation are trying again. From Autumn 2019, there could be a Muslim elementary school in Oslo.
Many parents want their children to learn about Islam more academically in a school, in a controlled environment, and we want to offer this to them’, said chairperson, Mehdi Mohammad Tadayoun, of the foundation for the Muslim elementary school.
Several private primary schools in Norway are currently operating on the basis of recognized education, and beliefs, but currently there is no Muslim primary school.
The foundation tried to do something toward gaining permission for a Muslim elementary in 2015, when they submitted their application to start up a private school. In April last year they received a refusal.
‘What is different when you are now applying again?’
‘Last year, we received some purely technical objections to our application, which we have corrected.
We also considered appealing against the decision last year, but decided rather to gain a greater ownership of the project and then come back stronger with a new application’, said Tadayoun.
Oslo City Council recommended approval in 2015, but their application was denied, but it was for other reasons.
They believed a Muslim elementary school would be detrimental to integration locally. It was pointed out that the school was planned to be situated in Grønland, an area where there is a large minority population’, said the Municipal Report.
The concern about integration is not shared by Siri Helene Derouiche, who manages the Muslim primary school project.
When Vårt Land newspaper interviewed her six months ago, she stated that the school ‘could make it easier for Muslim parents to engage more in Norwegian society.’
‘I think a Muslim school could get parents to emerge as resourceful, with less effort to get them on the field for important issues’, she said.
Neither is Chairperson, Mehdi Tadayoun concerned.
‘We know of several parents who currently send their children abroad to Islamic schools. To gather students in Oslo, where they can learn about their own identity and religion in a controlled environment, will provide a far better basis for integration.’
Tadayoun said they want to find a neighbourhood where immigrants are ‘overrepresented’.
‘We also want to encompass non-Muslim students’, he stressed.
‘Is it likely that you will do this?’
‘Today non-Christian parents send their children to Christian schools. We will be open to all children’, he said.
Aina Stenersen, head of Oslo’s Fremskrittspartiet (Progress Party), is not enthusiastic about the idea of a Muslim elementary school.
‘We’d rather focus on integration, and belonging in Norwegian society.
Many of the students of foreign origin are unfortunately already, out of school hours, unable to integrate adequately in Norwegian society today, this applies especially boys. So such schools are not the way to go’, she wrote in a text message to Vårt Land.
If the foundation receives permission, the school would be opened in autumn 2019, with two first classes in the first school year.
Source: Vårt Land / Norway Today