The German government has given money to mosques in hopes migrants might be more receptive to integration classes and schooling from religious authorities.
Literacy courses in Turkish-run mosques have been funded by the education ministry for the past two years, with the hope that new migrants will find the familiar environment easier than a German classroom. Authorities are also hoping that integration courses offered in mosques will help stem the growing tide of radicalisation in the German Islamic community, reports Die Welt.
Syrian teacher Diaa Shmmou said that the process to teach new migrants literacy will be a slow one as they will have to learn the German language, a new way of writing, and a new alphabet to read. Shmmou was happy that the government was giving money to the mosques to facilitate the teaching saying that migrants, “are in a place in which they trust and where they feel comfortable.”
The courses are the brainchild of the Society for Intercultural Coexistence, a “non-governmental organisation” which is funded primarily by the Federal Ministry of Education. The project aims to prevent the radicalisation of new migrants by getting them into “approved” mosques and keeping them away from mosques that are known to preach a more radical version of Islam that does not agree with German values.
One of the approved mosques is the Selimiye Mosque in Dortmund-Eving. The mosque is located very close to a camp that houses a large number of migrants and is funded by the Turkish government under the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs organisation.
The Turkish religious authority was under fire this week when they released a cartoon for children in which they glorified martyrdom. The same authority is connected to the mosques the German government is funding.
Many of the migrants who attend the literacy classes have very low levels of education. Many of the students have only completed a primary school level and some have not attended formal schooling at all and are functionally illiterate, even in their native language. This revelation led at least one German education expert to claim that most new migrants would be dependent on the German welfare state for their entire lives.
Syrian teacher Shmmou confirms that many of the migrants she teaches lack the most basic education saying, “it is not easy to teach these people.” Shmmou taught English at a private school in Syria until she fled the country two years ago and has since been hired by the Society of Intercultural Coexistence to teach migrants German and to give them someone who can speak their language fluently in order to facilitate integration.
Education is one of the key concerns that has emerged out of the migrant crisis. Chancellor Angela Merkel and others promised that migrants would be a new source of wealth as they would bring skills to help boost the German economy and it’s ageing population.
The government has become more and more desperate to find ways to educate migrants in order that they can participate in German society, but many experts believe that migrants and their children may constitute a huge drain on European countries’ welfare systems. They may end up being a “lost generation,” unable to hold down meaningful work or participate in society.