The Centre Party is proposing that more emphasis be placed on Christian teaching in primary schools, according to Fréttablaðið.
MPs from the Centre Party, as well as Brynjar Níelsson and Ásmundur Friðriksson of the Independence Party, say that Iceland’s fundamental societal values and morals are based on Christian roots and that the teaching of these roots in schools should be compulsory.
The current law states that the National Curriculum Guide for Compulsory Education shall contain provisions on religious studies. The MPs want the name of the subject to be changed to Christianity and Religious Studies, therefore putting the emphasis on Christian teaching.
The bill, which was presented by Brynjar and Ásmundur, states: “The school is intended to convey the fundamental values of society, which in this country are based on Christian roots. Education in Christian studies, ethics and religious studies imparts knowledge to students about their own roots.”
The bill also cites the increasing number of Icelandic citizens who have moved to Iceland from abroad. “It must be considered natural to discuss in detail the prevailing religions in society, and knowledge of Christianity and the Bible is a prerequisite for understanding Western culture and society. With the growing number of Icelandic citizens who are from abroad, the need to break down the walls between cultural groups and religious groups increases.”
Reference is made to the European Commission’s Recommendation against Racism and Intolerance, which states that “education plays an important role in the fight against racism and intolerance, in which students are educated about the diversity of human life and different religions.”
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