BASRA, Iraq -- The Iraqi Ministry of Education issued a permit Nov. 4 for the establishment of a private, mixed Christian school, which will teach Christians, Muslims and students from other communities. After spending a year and a half working on the official procedures, the school will officially open next year as the first interfaith school in Iraq since the 1970s.
Archbishop Habib Jajou, the Chaldean archbishop of Basra and southern Iraq, told Al-Monitor about the project. "We have successfully experimented with Christian nurseries and kindergartens," he said, "and now we want to open a primary school as an expansion to offer successful education to both Muslim and Christian citizens, especially after we saw how many Muslim families want to register their children in Christian educational institutions. Over the past 20 years, thousands of Muslim children have been admitted into Christian kindergartens."
Middle-class families want to send their children to schools that offer a better education and a high level of security control, which makes parents feel more comfortable in light of the increased rate of kidnappings in the city.
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