State Duma Education Committee objects teaching Orthodox culture course in school

The State Duma Committee for Education and Science objects compulsory teaching of the "Orthodox culture" course in the secondary school.

According to Alexander Shishlov, the committee's chairman, the deputies voiced their negative attitude to the proposal at the committee's session on Thursday. According to them, teaching religion in school can only be optional on the request and with the consent of pupils and their parents.

The deputies pointed out that basics of religious cultures can be included in such courses as "social science", "history", "arts". "But obligatory teaching of religion to children under the label of 'religious culture' is inadmissible," Shishlov said. He stressed that inclusion of religious courses in the school plan is at odds with the lay nature of the Russian State and education provided by the Constitution and the Law on education.

Learning the basics of Orthodoxy as well as any other religious culture cannot be a component of the state standard of secondary education and be funded by the budget, Shishlov believes.

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