Published July 20, 2006
PARIS (RNS) Dutch officials have handed out diplomas to the first three graduates of a program that aims to train primary school teachers about Islam and Muslim cultural sensitivities.
The idea is to teach them how to deal with the parents, how to deal with the children and how to work with other teachers in the school. says Koos Rusting, spokesman for IPABO, a teacher training institute in the Netherlands that is spearheading the initiative.
So far, the program is limited to teachers from primary schools in Amsterdam and Almere Dutch cities with flourishing Muslim populations.
Its target to bridge cultural and religious divides is particularly apt in the Netherlands, where rising anti-Islamic sentiments have been fueled by droves of new immigrants from Turkey and North Africa, and the 2004 killing of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh.
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