It took twelve years for the model experiment to become a compulsory elective: The Bavarian state government is giving Islamic teaching permanent prospects.
Among other things, this makes a couple from Wartenberg happy.
Wartenberg / Landkreis - Özlen (48) and Levent Balci (55) teach the subject at elementary and secondary schools in the Erding district.
"That is nice - a safeguard for the future not only for us teachers, but also for the children," says Levent Balci.
He thanks the Erdinger Schulamt for the support and also the state government.
In doing so, she shows "appreciation for Muslim children, for equality".
Those who register for Islam lessons in the first grade now know that they will be taught Islam until the end of their school career.
Up until now, lessons had to be decided anew every year.
What Balci is also happy about: There will be final exams in the subject in the future, which is currently not the case.
There are only four Islamic teachers working in the district
Levent Balci teaches at the elementary schools in Altenerding, at the Ludwig-Simmet-Anger in Klettham, and also at the elementary and middle school on Lodererplatz.
His wife works for the elementary and middle school students at the Marie-Pettenbeck-Schule in Wartenberg, as well as at the elementary schools in Altenerding and on the Grüner Markt as well as at the Altenerdingen middle school.
In addition to the Balcis, there are just two other Islamic teachers working in the district: Murat Demir from Munich and Ahmet Demirez from Lower Bavaria.
The two teach at various elementary and secondary schools in Taufkirchen, Dorfen and Klettham.
“We are not imams,” emphasizes Levent Balci, who contradicts the fear that the subject is mere teaching of the Koran.
“The education of values is very important.
It is also about modern values that we need in the 21st century, ”says the 55-year-old.
It is also about integration.
The lessons are held in German, "the students learn terms such as solidarity".
Of course, lessons are also about Islamic history, about prayer.
But comparisons with other religions would also be made, for example the current Lent of Christians.
In addition, it is about the preservation of creation - about nature and animals, but also quite simply about saving water or electricity.
“God wants that from us too,” says Balci.
Expanding the subject across Bavaria is not that easy
"This is a contemporary offer, I think it's great," says Michael Braun with satisfaction.
He heads the Wartenberg School and is deputy district chairman of the BLLV, the union of primary and secondary school teachers.
Islam is taught across all grades at his school.
Anyone who previously wanted to take a final exam as a Muslim had to do it in ethics.
“That doesn't make any sense,” says Braun.
16,000 of the 163,000 students of Muslim faith in Bavaria are currently attending the subject - mostly at elementary and secondary schools, because only four secondary schools and three grammar schools took part in the model experiment, none of them from the Erding district.
In contrast to Catholic or Protestant religious instruction, the elective subject is to be seen as a state “non-denominational” offer.
It should now be diligently expanded, which will not be easy.
The number of 350 schools was given as a first guideline in the cabinet resolution - even fewer than now participating in the model test.
That was 364 facilities.
There are currently only around 100 teachers in Bavaria, most of whom teach at several neighboring schools.
And just four in the Erding district.
Levent Balci believes that the Bavaria-wide expansion “will take a while”.
Some of his fellow teachers have emigrated from the Free State to other federal states because the future of Islamic teaching there had long been secured.
"But now we have a perspective in Bavaria too." That is why Balci is optimistic in the medium term.