Schools Twin with Madrasahs to Fight Radicalism

February 3, 2008

Author: Marie Woolf

Source: The Times

BRITISH schools are to be twinned with madrasahs in Pakistan to show pupils there how much they have in common with children in the West and to combat extreme Islamist ideology.

The British Council is to put £6m into linking British schools with classrooms in countries where children may be at risk of being groomed by Muslim extremists. The programme will operate in Afghanistan, Iraq, Indonesia and Pakistan, including the largely lawless North West Frontier Province, regarded as a stronghold for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Last week British teachers met groups from Pakistan to discuss establishing the first collaborative projects this spring. A madrasah in Peshawar and one in the Swabi district are among those preparing to take part in the programme, which will involve 220,000 pupils in Britain, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan alone.