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Spain Education reform

70% of Spaniards reject to put religion class on the same footing as other subjects

Redacción

Under the new system, grades obtained in religion class would count toward the student’s average grade the same way math or language courses do. Proponents hope this will make the subject more appealing to students who don’t see the point of enrolling.

The Catholic Church is also hoping that the new curriculum will include a “strong” alternative to religion class — tough enough that it will make religion seem more attractive to students who now choose the easy way out.

But the Metroscopia poll, conducted on May 22 and 23, reflects a massive rejection of this move by Socialist voters, and also by nearly half (48 percent) of supporters of the governing conservative Popular Party (PP). Even the Catholic community shows little support: 60 percent of those who said they practice their faith occasionally disagree, while that rate goes up to 70 percent of non-practicing Catholics. Only practicing Catholics, who represent 17 percent of the adult population, show support for the measure (61 percent). Within this group, 33 percent said they were against it.

The survey seems to suggest that Spanish society has yet to undertake an honest, serene debate on the issue of religion in school — a debate encompassing believers and non-believers alike, from all faiths. It should be obvious that in a plural democracy, religion should not be the subject of easy insult, either at school or outside of it, nor should it be used for proselytism and indoctrination (and count for grades, too).

This and other changes to the existing law, including state subsidies for schools that segregate students by gender, appear to satisfy many historical demands by the Church. For over two decades — since the 1990 LOGSE education law went into effect — the bishops have been complaining about “discrimination” against religion class.

Source: El País

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