The Directorate of Education (Udir) believes that the distribution of Bibles at Norwegian schools may be contrary to the Education Act. Now, Udir is asking the municipalities to stop the practice.
The Directorate of Education (Udir) believes that giving students religious writings, books, or objects as gifts may be contrary to the Education Act, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) writes. Therefore, Udir advises municipalities not to allow religious organizations to distribute religious writings, such as the Bible, in schools.
Every year, around 15,000 copies of the Bible are distributed in Norwegian schools.
Ropstad: No one is forcing students to read the Bible
Minister for Children and Families Kjell Ingolf Ropstad (KrF) does not agree with Udir.
“No one is forcing the students to read the Bible they are given. We agree that it should not happen in the classroom. But here, I think they are overreacting. I do not understand why it should be a big issue,” Ropstad said.
He believes that knowledge of the Christian faith and the Bible is an important part of the curriculum and that it, therefore, must be okay for Bibles to be distributed to students.
The rule change comes after the Norwegian Humanist Association asked Udir to make a statement on the issue.
“In those cases where Bibles or other religious texts are needed in the teaching, you can solve it easily by using a class set – not by letting missionaries into the classroom,” the organization’s leader Lars-Petter Helgestad noted.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayEducation
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