France’s first private Muslim school one of the country’s top-rated schools

By Stefanie Zillner

Lille, France: The Averroes High School in Lille, France, has become famous ten years ago. It was France’s first private Muslim school to follow the national curriculum. Now, it’s been attracting a big amount of attention in France after it has recently been ranked at the top of the regional list of quality schools and was among the top three on the national list.

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Muslim girl in France

Around 75 percent of French students are enrolled in state schools; the rest attends some form of private school. Over the past few years, private schools – either Catholic, Jewish or secular, with varying levels of state funding – have increasingly made their way to the top high-school rankings.

The government’s relationship to religion is a cold one in France. It is known for its strict secularism. Given France’s complex history of communal relations with its Muslim population, the success of the Averroès school has provided some welcome good news.

While most of the students are Muslim, the school is open to non-Muslims as well.

According to the website France24.com, as for the students, the advantages of the school are numerous. Averroès graduates list the small class size, the studious atmosphere and the staff’s commitment to quality education as the school’s best features.