Bishops' “strong opposition” to changes in religious teaching in schools. There is an appeal to parents

Bishops' "strong opposition" to changes in religious teaching in schools.  There is an appeal to parents

At its meeting, the Catholic Education Commission operating within the Episcopal Conference discussed changes in religion classes proposed by the Ministry of National Education. The issued statement mentions “strong opposition” to the changes and appeals to believers, especially parents.

Some time ago, the Ministry of National Education presented a draft of changes regarding the conditions and method of conducting religious education. The most important proposals concern stopping the inclusion of grades in religion and ethics in the average on the school certificate and organizing religion and ethics lessons in inter-grade or inter-grade groups. The changes are to enter into force on September 1 this year.

Changes in religion classes. “Strong opposition” of the Episcopal commission

Bishops expressed concern about the changes introduced by the Ministry of National Education in the organization of religion classes at the beginning of May, after the meeting of the Permanent Council of the Polish Episcopal Conference. Now, on Friday, May 17, the issue of changes proposed by the Ministry of Education was dealt with in detail by the Catholic Education Commission of the Polish Episcopal Conference, chaired by Bishop Wojciech Osial. On Saturday, a statement was published after this meeting.

“The Commission for Catholic Education continues to remind us that any changes should always be made in accordance with applicable law, through mutual dialogue and in consultation with all churches and religious associations,” we read in the statement.

The committee's reservations concern mainly the solutions proposed by the Ministry of National Education, which involve combining students between different classes into groups of up to 25 people (grades 1-3) and 30 people (grades 4-8). The statement reads that the Commission expresses “strong opposition” to them. “It was declared that this was against all pedagogical, psychological and didactic principles. Such changes also deprive students of the opportunity to conduct classes at the required level of educational quality. Hasty introduction of changes from the next school year also poses a threat to religion teachers, who remain uncertain as to the scope of their employment,” we read.

An appeal to parents regarding religion in schools

Members of the KEP committee call for dialogue. “Members and consultants of the Commission emphasized that in order to maintain the proper legal order in the processing of these changes, it is necessary to reach an agreement between the government and the authorities of the Church and religious associations. This results from the provisions in the Education System Act, the Constitution and the Concordat. The Commission for Catholic Education is convinced that only through dialogue and cooperation can we properly care for and develop young generations of Polish women and men,” we read.

At the end of the message there was an appeal on this matter to all believers, especially to parents.

“The Commission for Catholic Education appeals to all believers to take actions to show the value of religion lessons at school and its unfair treatment. He especially asks Catholic parents to speak out on this matter,” the clergy call. “The Constitution of the Republic of Poland (Article 48) guarantees parents the right to raise their children in accordance with their own beliefs. The Commission also appeals to Catholic media, movements and religious communities to take similar actions. We should be united by common concern for the religious, moral and social education of children and young people,” it added.

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