Will AI do away with religion?

Luxembourg abolishes religious education in schools

The new school year started on Monday at the grammar schools in Luxembourg with a change. Instead of the previous religious instruction, a new course is on the curriculum for around 40,000 secondary school students: Life and Society.

In doing so, the government is pushing through its plan to further separate church and state. Education Minister Claude Meisch (Democratic Party) announced the reform in 2014 and was already criticized at that time. Students should have the freedom of choice - religion or values ​​lessons.

A citizens' initiative was also formed. "Fir de Choix", in German "For the election", collected more than 25,600 signatures. But they couldn't stop the government's plans. On the contrary. The course is to start in primary schools in 2017/2018. Up until now, teaching there has been taught by Church-recruited teachers. They are to be offered a takeover by the state.

Exception at private schools

The Islamic scholar Michael Kiefer told Die Zeit: “The prevention strategy against Islamism must take place in schools. (...) In religious education, the students can learn how to deal with the Koran based on reason, a questioning examination of the contents of faith aimed at maturity (...). That is an excellent immunization against radicality. "

"It is compulsory in all public schools and in state-recognized private schools", explains Myriam Bamberg from the Luxembourg Ministry of Education to the "Saarbrücker Zeitung". “Private schools are allowed to offer religious instruction as an elective. However, this can only be offered in addition to and not as a substitute for the teaching of values, ”she added.

Several fields of learning should structure the subject: I, people, nature and technology, I and the others, culture and communication, way of life and world and society. It is about world religions, cultures, sex, violence, love and the world of work. Teachers who have previously taken part in a corresponding further training course have access to materials via an Internet portal.

Books still in preparation

Books are still being worked out, but will not be available when school starts this year, explained Anne Heniqui from the Luxembourg Ministry of Education. But that also gives the staff a certain amount of leeway. "At the moment the subject of terrorist attacks is very present, so the teaching staff should have the freedom to talk to the students about such current topics."

233 people registered for the training in June, 240 more people want to take part in the second round.