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Sweden may ban religious schooling

The Swedish government is considering putting a total ban on religious schooling. Swedish Minister of Education, Lina Axelsson Kihlblom recently said, “There should be no religious influence in schools”. She wants to rectify these school system flaws to ensure that “society takes back the democratic control over welfare”.

Lina Axelsson Kihlblom, Swedish Minister of Education

In the proposal, Kihlblom suggested school principals should inform the parents as well as the students about any such denominational components. The students should get an opportunity to opt-out of such denominational components. These flaws came into existence as it was found that religious schools were using state funds to do ventures that did not exist.

Background: Romosseskolan, an Islamic school in Gothenburg, a major city in Sweden was accused of having gender-segregated lessons for 22 years and forcing the students to take part in prayer sessions. After the accusations about the school, state funding was halted. The government does not want public money falling in the wrong hands. According to a recent report, teachers were being paid by a group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Association of Sweden (IFiS). Roger Haddad, the deputy chair of the education committee in Sweden's Parliament said, it’s time for the school to shut down entirely for its connection to extremism. Vetenskapsskolan is another Islamic school in Gothenburg that was shut down in 2019 because of the involvement of ISIS radicals. The school was accused of hiring teachers who had recently returned from fighting for ISIS abroad.

Responses: Lisa Nåbo, union chairman of the Social Democrats Youth says, “It is time to ban independent religious schools. The school should not be a place for religious schooling and encourage religious segregation. Neither Christian sects, imams, or shareholders should govern the school”.

According to the Swedish Association of Independent Schools, all schools should follow the standard Swedish education curriculum regardless of religious background.


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