Islamic school enrollment up 22 percent

A little Somali girl (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/USAID). (Little girl wearing a headscarf (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/USAID))

Despite the fact that the number of primary school pupils is declining in the Netherlands, enrollment at Islamic schools is on the rise. The number of pupils attending Islamic schools has increased by 22 percent over the past 5 years.

Last year nearly 11 thousand children attended one of the 49 Islamic primary schools in the Netherlands, compared to 9 thousand children in 2010, AD reports.

According to Abdelsadek Maas, this increase can be attributed to the current climate in the Netherlands. Muslim people are increasingly looking to be with other Muslims. "If you wear a headscarf, you are stared at. At an Islamic school, kids can be themselves", Maas said to the newspaper.

Jaap Dronkers, educational sociologist at the University of Maastricht believes that the quality of education also plays a role. "Islamic schools generally do better than public schools with the same low socioeconomic composition."