Religion in public schools

cover research - emcrightspr@gmail.com - GmailThe aim of the following research is to analyse governmental policy on education from the perspective of religious freedom. In particular, this research examines issues such as equal access to the right of freedom of religion in public schools. It also looks at the regulation and methods of teaching religion, examines their
conformity to the standards of religious freedom and to the principle of secularism.

In order to encourage a religiously neutral and tolerant environment in public schools, considering the research results and identified shortcomings, several recommendations for the Ministry of Education and Science were prepared. The actualization of this research and its methodology will be reviewed in chapter two. The assessments of various local and international organisations, researchers and experts evaluating the realization of religious freedom in public schools outline the different tendencies of violating the right of religious freedom, and these indicate the importance of studying this issue even further.

Chapter three analyses the current legal framework and policy documents regarding their conformity with the principles of secularism and the guarantees of religious freedom. Moreover, it examines and evaluates the effectiveness of the control and prevention mechanisms implemented by the Ministry.

The fourth chapter presents a discourse analysis of textbooks which were approved by the Ministry. It provides an analysis of history textbooks where it is examined whether balanced information about the different religious denominations and their comprehensive representation is given.

Chapter five examines teachers’ sentiments and attitudes towards religious minorities. It also covers an assessment of school infrastructure in terms of its conformity with the requirements of religious neutrality. This analysis is based on the observation in public schools and the results of eight focus groups held in different schools.
The presented research was carried out by EMC and was part of the project “ Supporting and Enabling a Secular and Tolerant Environment in Public Schools” which was financially supported by the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.