PL committed to help Mariam Al Batool school develop

Saturday, 31 Mar 2012, 15:27


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PL spokesman for Education and Civil Rights Evarist Bartolo today said that a Labour government would find ways to help the school Mariam Al Batool where around 300 children from the age of 3 to 16 attend in classes ranging from kindergarten to secondary. A fun fair was held today in the grounds of the school as a fund raising activity. Ethnic food from North Africa was on sale and children had facilities brought in to enjoy themselves. Bartolo presented a money donation from the Labour Party.

Up to 80% of the children attending the school belong to Maltese Muslim families. Bartolo said that the Muslim minority in Malta deserves to enjoy the same rights enjoyed by everyone on the island. He said that a Labour government would help develop the school that needs to build another floor and to develop waste land next to it at Corradino.

The school was opened in 1997 with children coming from many different countries. It is part of the Mosque complex at Corradino and is quite unique in the world as it caters for Muslim children but is run by a Catholic headmistress with a majority of Catholic teachers while Muslim teachers are in charge of Islamic education.

The Mariam Al Batool School is licensed by the Maltese Education Department and follows the National Curriculum. The school's actual curriculum is based on the Maltese National Curriculum with the Islamic ethos. The school has always operated as a charitable organization and as a result has often faced financial difficulties and struggles to survive. The situation for it became more difficult following the events in Libya last year. Government has helped the school in the last few months to enable it to pay the teachers’ salaries and to run the school.

During a visit to the school former US Ambassador Douglas Kmiec had said: “After seeing so many bright young children of the Christian and Muslim faiths, studying together and learning about each other, I am again reminded of the value of comparative religious studies as a means to facilitate interfaith dialogue.”  Ambassador Kmiec also paid tribute to the teachers for their commitment to enhancing the school’s role in celebrating diversity.

Photo: President George Abela visits Mariam Al Batool school

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