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Religion in a school with combined classes. The Polish Episcopal Conference expresses “strong opposition” to the Ministry of National Education's proposal

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The idea of ​​combining classes during religion classes proposed by the Ministry of National Education was met with “strong opposition” from members of the Catholic Education Committee of the Polish Episcopal Conference. According to the commission, “this is against all pedagogical, psychological and didactic principles.” The proposed amendment to the regulation is to enter into force in the new school year. The commission appealed to all believers to speak out on this matter.

The deliberations of the Catholic Education Commission of the Polish Episcopal Conference (KEP) were held on May 17 in Warsaw, chaired by Bishop. Wojciech Osial. The main topic was issues related to the changes introduced by the Ministry of National Education in the organization of religion classes at school.

“The Commission for Catholic Education still reminds 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 a statement sent on Saturday.

See also: Religion at school. Church data show how the number of students is decreasing

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The Polish Episcopal Conference opposes the proposed changesTVN24

KEP: the proposed changes are contrary to pedagogical and psychological principles

The committee members expressed “strong opposition to 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).” According to the commission members, “this is against all pedagogical, psychological and didactic principles.”

“Such changes also deprive us 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,” they said.

See also: The topic of religion entered the European campaign. Trzaskowski's order divided the coalition politicians

Members of the committee 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 of the Act on the Education System, the Constitution and the Concordat. The Catholic Education Commission is convinced that only through dialogue and cooperation can the proper care and development of young generations of Polish women and men be ensured,” they noted.

An appeal to all believers

The authors of the message appealed to all believers to take actions “to show the value of religion lessons at school and its unfair treatment.” They also asked Catholic parents to speak out on this matter.

“The Constitution of the Republic of Poland (Article 48) guarantees parents the right to raise their children in accordance with their own beliefs. There is also an appeal to Catholic media, movements and religious communities to take similar actions. We should be united by a common concern for the religious, moral and social upbringing of children and youth,” they emphasized.

The Episcopate criticizes the proposed changes in the organization of religion classes Adrianna Otręba/Fakty TVN

Proposal for changes in religion classes

On April 30, a draft amendment to the regulation of the Minister of Education on the conditions and methods of organizing religious education in public kindergartens and schools was published.

Currently, kindergartens and schools are obliged to organize religion classes in a given section or class of the school if not less than seven students from a given section or class take part in religion classes. If a smaller number of students from a given class or class register for religious education, the kindergarten or school is obliged to organize religion classes in an inter-grade or inter-class group. The same principles of organizing classes apply to ethics lessons.

The proposed amendment to the regulation is intended to enable the organization of religion lessons in an inter-class or inter-class group including students from classes or classes in which seven or more students have registered for a religion lesson. The same applies to ethics lessons. The rule will also apply to kindergartens.

Nowacka: I will propose limiting religion classes to one hour paid from the state budget

Nowacka: I will propose limiting religion classes to one hour paid from the state budgetTVN24

At the same time, a rule is to be introduced that in grades IV-VIII of primary schools and post-primary schools, there may be a maximum of 30 students in an inter-class group (students from different classes) or inter-grade group (students from different age groups) organized in this way, and in kindergartens and grades I -III primary schools, maximum – 25 children. Additionally, in primary schools it will be possible to create inter-class groups only within a given educational stage, i.e. for grades I-III or grades IV-VIII.

The proposed amendment to the regulation is to enter into force on September 1, 2024.

Main photo source: TVN24



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