The MINISTRY of Education, Science and Technological Development has launched a series of meetings regarding the request of Patriarch Porphyry and heads of traditional churches to give religious education the status of a compulsory elective subject and this is yet to be discussed.
With all respect for needs and desires, we cannot change such an important and crucial thing “overnight”, because the consequences of such a decision on another elective subject and legal framework must be considered. Due to good will and in order to include all relevant employees in the Ministry, we offered to form a broader commission that would exclusively deal with this issue in the coming period. That offer is still on the table.
This was told to “Novosti” in the Ministry of Education regarding the letters sent to Minister Branko Ružić and the state leadership by traditional churches and religious communities demanding that religious education be a compulsory elective subject, that, following the 2001 Decree, classes be organized at the department level. not a group, regardless of the number of students registered for classes, as well as that the classes are held at the same time as the classes of the alternative subject.
According to the data of the Ministry of Education for the school year 2020/2021. year in Serbia, 441,487 students attend religious education classes. In grammar schools, 31,777 students chose religious education, 320,218 in primary schools, 1,166 in secondary music schools, 88,173 in vocational schools and 153 students in secondary art schools. It is estimated that about 315,000 attend civic education.
The data also show that there are 2,100 teachers of traditional churches and religious communities in Serbia, of which the Serbian Orthodox Church has 1,702 teachers, the Islamic Community 247, the Roman Catholic Church 131 teachers and the Protestant Church 30.
Religious dignitaries also proposed that the labor and legal position of religious teachers be legally regulated, who can now only be employed for a certain period of time.
In addition to Minister Branko Ruzic, the proposal was sent to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Parliament Speaker Ivica Dacic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.
In addition to religious education, students can now choose civic education, because these two subjects have the status of compulsory electives, which means that students must choose one of them. Neither religious nor civic education is evaluated numerically but descriptively and does not enter the average.
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