More than 3,000 students receive Islam lessons in the German state of Lower Saxony from 52 teachers qualified for this task, which places the Islamic religion lesson in second place in the state’s schools after the Christian religion as a school subject.
The state Ministry of Education announced on Monday, September 18, that ten years after it was adopted as a main subject, Islam is now taught in 75 schools in the state of Lower Saxony (northwestern Germany), according to the Deutsche Welle website.
In order to include this subject in schools, it is required that there be a class of students interested in studying this subject consisting of no less than twelve Muslim students. Therefore, several classrooms or neighboring schools are usually combined.
At the beginning of the 2013/2014 academic year, Islam was included in primary schools in the state of Lower Saxony, and a year later it also gradually began to be taught in secondary schools, starting from the fifth grade, according to what was reported on the German Focus website.
The lesson on Islam is the most common in state schools after the subject of the Christian religion. About 3,380 students were registered in (the 2022/23 academic year) studying Islam under 52 teachers.
This number remains much less than the Christian religion subject taught in the state by more than 9,000 Protestant Christian teachers and about 4,000 Catholic teachers.
The Ministry of Culture in Lower Saxony confirms that the aim of teaching Islam in schools is to help students think critically about their religion.
In this regard, the Ministry adds, “Teaching the Islamic religion provides Muslim students in formal education with the opportunity to think about their religion within the context of life in a western society, which is often imprinted with a Christian character. The goal is to develop the ability to evaluate religious rulings.”
According to the ministry, the educational programs are prepared by “specially qualified university teachers.” In this context, the state receives advice from the Advisory Council. All teachers who teach Islam lessons are also Muslims, as are their colleagues who teach lessons in other religions.
It is noteworthy that between 5 and 6 million Muslims currently live in Germany. This equates to approximately 5.5% of the total population of approximately 82 million people.