News, October 2004

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Socialists present new Religious Education plan

28th September. Among the plans for education which the new government wants to introduce, one of their priorities is in the area of Religious Education (RE). The new proposals include a new subject, 'History of Religion', compulsory for all children and taught by school staff of any or no confession, while confessional RE would have presumably reduced hours and be completely optional.

Up to now, RE has been confessional, which for the majority of Spaniards means Roman Catholic, or attempting to opt out. The Evangelicals and Muslims also have RE programmes, although the muslims have so far not developed theirs as much as would be necessary outside the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. The Evangelicals have had a programme for the past 12 years, but it has not been able to develop due to the lack of funding on one hand together with a lack of suitably trained teachers and on the other hand the excessive dispersion of the children of evangelicals across schools. Up to now, RE has been included in the subjects which go towards qualifying children at different levels. Now it will be excluded.

The new subject of History of religion would be part of the History and Philosophy curriculum. among other reforms proposed is the increased attention to the teaching of English language, with more, smaller groups at the higher levels, possibly giving British teachers more opportunities in Spain.

More, soon, from Protestante Digital.

Source: TVE, El Mundo