Sabato, 24 Ottobre 2020
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Home English Education minister sets off firestorm over religion in class

Education minister sets off firestorm over religion in class


(ANSA) - Rome, September 26 - Italy's education minister
refused to back down Wednesday from his earlier suggestions that
schools in the country should teach more than Catholicism in the
But Francesco Profumo said he had no immediate plans to
change "certain rules or terms" of the curriculum for religion
The minister triggered controversy recently when he
suggested it was time to update school curricula with respect to
teaching the Catholic religion in public schools.
As Italy becomes more multicultural, it may be important to
teach students about other faiths, Profumo said.
He expanded on his views in a letter to Catholic
philosopher Giovanni Reale, a copy of which was obtained by ANSA
"Our country is at the center of a tumultuous evolution,
both political and spiritual, in the Mediterranean, which has
always been a crossroads of peoples and faiths," Profumo wrote.
It's time, therefore, that Italian schools "deal with this
changing reality" of a multicultural world, he added.
Religious education teachers have responded to Profumo's
ideas by saying the Catholic faith is a deeply embedded part of
Italy's historical heritage, and curricula shouldn't be changed.
These teachers, and an association for Italian families,
noted that in June Profumo signed new agreements on what would
be taught in religious education classes and now is no time for
"Christianity is inextricably inserted in the history of
our country," said Francesco Belletti, president of the Forum of
Family Associations.
Religious teachers are appointed by schools in consultation
with local religious Catholic authorities.
Students who opt out of religion classes are not given
alternative teaching.
One in 10 Italian students are not Italian and a slightly
higher percentage are not Catholic.
A small minority of atheist or agnostic parents insist
their children should not be given lessons in Catholicism.

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