Religious figures call on the Ministry of Education and Science to focus on value-based education and moral guidelines

12 February, 21:18
State
Religious figures call on the Ministry of Education and Science to focus on value-based education and moral guidelines - фото 1
The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations discussed issues of further cooperation with the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine. The AUCCRO met with Minister Serhiy Shkarlet on February 11, 2021, in the ministry's premises under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Sviatoslav, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

This is reported by the official website of AUCCRО.

The participants of the meeting drew attention to the issues of teaching spiritual and moral subjects in state educational institutions and the recognition by the state of diplomas of higher spiritual institutions. The chairman of the Auccro thanked the minister for creating an expert commission on ethics and spiritual and moral subjects.

According to the members of the Council of Churches, "Christian ethics" and other similar subjects are a positive and effective element of the educational component of the educational process.

"The moral component, the basics of knowledge about religions and their reflection in the culture of the Ukrainian people, should be present in the educational process. Believe it or not, is a matter of personal choice and responsibility of a person. But education in elementary issues of religion is a sign of a cultural and comprehensively developed personality, and this opportunity should be provided by the school," explained Archbishop Yevstratiy of Chernihiv and Nizhyn of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

The minister reminded that the subject of "Christian ethics", the program of which does not provide for any religious rites and was developed by representatives of various churches, has been taught in Ukrainian schools for 15 years, and in the western regions – even longer. He noted that in this matter, the state proceeds from Ukraine's international obligations to ensure the right of religious parents to the religious upbringing of their children, which only enriches pluralism in education along with preserving the secular nature of education in state and municipal schools.

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In addition, the meeting participants discussed the practical implementation of the "money follows the child" principle. Starting in 2019, all students can receive state funding for school education, including those who study in private educational institutions established by religious organizations. This obligation of the state is envisaged in paragraph 10 of Article 78 of the law of Ukraine "On Education".

Religious figures also explained to the minister the essence of their comments on the anti-discrimination examination of textbooks and curricula introduced by the Ministry of Education and Science. According to them, recently the idea of ensuring equal rights and opportunities has been distorted as moral guidelines, family values, spiritual and cultural heritage of the Ukrainian people were eliminated from the educational process under good slogans of combating discrimination.

The participants also exchanged views on the areas of further cooperation between the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, which was established back in 2008. In particular, since then, a special public Council for Cooperation with Churches and Religious Organizations has been functioning under the Ministry of Education and Science, which, among other things, has made a lot of efforts for state recognition of theology as a field of knowledge and the possibility of state accreditation of spiritual and educational institutions, as it has been the case in other European countries for hundreds of years.

"The MES of Ukraine is always ready to full cooperation, especially when it comes to morality, the unification of Ukraine, the positive qualities that are inherent in any religion, the establishment of those lifestyles that are basic in our social interaction," said Serhiy Shkarlet, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.

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His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the chairman of the AUCCRO, confirmed that the Council of Churches sees cooperation with the MES of Ukraine as an important area of its activity.

"Taking care of young people and a good, high-quality, European education, we need to take care of moral values, in particular family values that are not of religious, but universal nature. Education and upbringing make an integrated phenomenon in the growth and formation of a mature young, fully developed personality. Here the churches, the religious organizations and teachers are partners," the head of the UGCC stressed.

At the meeting, it was stated that it is necessary to sign a separate cooperation agreement between the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. In 2008, the AUCCRO signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

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