Norway's kindergartens ban niqab, burka on employees from Aug. 1

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-30 21:44:35|Editor: xuxin
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OSLO, July 30 (Xinhua) -- From Aug. 1, Norway's kindergarten employees will not be allowed to wear face-covering garments like niqab and burka, news agency NTB reported Monday.

The new rule will not only apply to kindergartens, but throughout the course of education, from primary schools to universities.

The prohibition applies to pupils, students and employees at educational institutions in the private and public sectors.

While at schools and universities, it will be permitted to have face-covering garments during breaks and staff meetings, the prohibition in the kindergartens applies throughout the entire working time.

However, the Union of Education Norway, the country's largest trade union for teaching personnel, thinks the national ban for kindergartens is not necessary.

"I have not experienced that this has either been a problem or that kindergarten employees have expressed the need for a national ban," said Steffen Handal, president of the union.

Handal agreed that kindergarten workers should not use face-covering garments when facing children, but he said changes in the regulatory framework are not necessary.

Today's rules that allow local prohibition is sufficient, he added.

"I think it is interesting that the government believes that face-covering garments prevent dialogue, but one may ask if a ban promotes it," Handal said.

Kristin Holm Jensen, State Secretary to the Minister of Education and Integration, said the government introduces a national ban to ensure that children's need for open communication is taken care of in all kindergartens throughout the country.

"This is therefore not a symbolic measure, but an important measure for meeting children's needs," Jensen said.