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Primary and secondary education is regulated in a joint Education Act (1998), while kindergartens are regulated in a separate Kindergarten Act (2005). §1 of both acts specify that educational institutions and kindergartens alike shall base their activities on “fundamental values in the Christian and humanist heritage and tradition, such as respect for human dignity and nature, on intellectual freedom, charity, forgiveness, equality and solidarity, values that also appear in different religions and beliefs and are rooted in human rights.” Additionally, private schools are regulated under the Free Schools Act (2003). Under §2-1 of the act, free schools may be based on a variety of criteria, including religion or belief. Under §2-3, the curriculum provided by the school should secure the education of children “on par” with that provided in the public school system.

Under the Education Act § 2-4, the mandatory subject “Christianity, Religion, Philosophies of Life and Ethics” in primary education (1.-10. grade) is closely regulated. Teaching should be non-partisan and be conducted in an objective, critical and pluralist way, providing an introduction to Christianity, other religions and beliefs. The subject should also provide pupils with a sense of Christianity as cultural heritage, and various ethical and philosophical topics. Access to exemption from this and other subjects is regulated in § 2-3a, providing that exemptions can be granted upon written application if teaching is understood as proselytizing or offensive.

Since 2018, the use of full-face covering garments have been prohibited for pupils, students and employees throughout the educational domain.

D 7 juin 2022    AHelge Årsheim

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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