Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sweden cracks down on religious influences in schools

from AFP

Swedish Education Minister Jan Bjoerklund said religion could still be studied at school as a separate subject but other classes could in no way be influenced by religious convictions. For example, the origin of human life would have to be explained from a scientific point of view and not a religious one, he said. The Swedish government also plans to allocate additional funds to carry out controls on schools, sometimes unannounced ... Sweden has some 800 independent schools, both primary and secondary. According to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, about 10% of these schools have a religious profile. Bjoerklund said the initiative would help improve transparency about the financing of these schools. He cited the case of an independent Muslim school that had received financial aid from a fundamentalist Islamic organisation in Saudi Arabia.

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