A ban on Muslim face veils in all nurseries, school and universities has been proposed by Norway.
The niqab and burka – traditional Islamic clothing – as well as as balaclavas and masks would all be banned from the classroom, under the proposals.
Headscarves, hats and caps would be exempt from the ban.
Local authorities in Norway already have the power to outlaw the full-face veil in schools but so far there has been no national policy.
Most parties in Norway support the bill, the first of its kind in Scandinavia, which has been put forward over claims face-covering clothing hinders communication.
Minister of Education and Research Torbjorn Roe Isaksen said in a statement: “These clothes prevent good communication, which is important for students to receive a good education.”
Interim Minister of Immigration and Integration Per Sandberg added that being able to communicate was a “fundamental value”.
Despite cross-party support, some critics argue that a ban is not necessary as the full-face veil is not common across Norway.
Linda Noor from the Minotenk think tank said: “There are very, very few who use the niqab, so this is marginal problem in the integration context.
“Therefore, I believe the proposal is not necessary.”
The Islamic Council of Norway, sparked controversy earlier this year after hiring a communications officer who wore a niqab.
The group defended the hiring of Leyla Hasic, saying she was the best person for the job.
Top pic: Rex