Wanted: Teachers for Islamic Education

The details of the intended introduction of Islamic education in German schools are still uncertain; yet, the demand for well educated teachers for the new subject is already being discussed. As reported earlier this month, the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia aims to introduce the new subject in the autumn of 2012. The state’s education minister, Sylvia Löhrmann, is planning a step-by-step introduction and is already working on the curriculum with the Muslim umbrella organization KRM. While other federal states are making similar progress, again others, such as Hesse, are far behind and not sure yet when Islamic education will be introduced.

As of yet, it is uncertain how many teachers will be needed for the new subject, as the federal states do not know how many Muslim students will actually take up the opportunity to participate in Islamic education. It is certain, though, that these teachers need to be educated adequately; therefore, the University of Münster, for instance, is planning on extending their capacities for the course of study in Islamic education, which was initiated in 2004. Furthermore, the universities in Osnabrück, Erlangen-Nürnberg, Tübingen and Frankfurt have been chosen as future centers of Islam studies. They will receive an additional four million Euros over the next five years to either establish or extend such centers, which are not only meant to train teachers, but also theologians and imams. Both researchers as well as politicians emphasize the key role of such centers for the integration of Muslims in Germany.

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