State-Funded Muslim Schools in Ireland: Insights and Perspectives
Youcef Sai [+]
Trinity College, Dublin
Ireland has only two state-funded Muslim schools which have existed since the early nineties. The initiative to establish them was driven by the demand of some Muslim families to have an education that would incorporate their Islamic values and beliefs. Approximately twenty-five years on, the schools continue to operate and teach the Irish national curriculum, in addition to Islamic Religious Education [IRE]. Little research, however, has been conducted on the State’s provision of these schools, in particular, the views of stakeholders (parents, teachers, principals) associated with them. Based on semi-structured interviews with twenty-two parents, six teachers, and two principals in 2014, this chapter explores some of their views on the provision of State-funded Irish Muslim schools and the issues surrounding them . These include three main areas; the current provision and accommodation of Muslim pupils in the current system and issues related to the general operation of the Muslim schools in contemporary Ireland . This chapter concludes by offering some direction for future research.