Pupils given right not to attend religious studies

Pupils given right not to attend religious studies

Parents will be able to request the exemption of their children from participation in religious studies classes during the new school year on the grounds of religious conscience.

According to an Education Ministry circular, pupils can request exemption from religious studies until Monday, September 21 – one week after the start of the school year.

The circular provides for the exemption by simply invoking reasons of religious conscience, adopting the relevant provision proposed by the Council of State last year which states that non-religious, atheist pupils and those belonging to creeds other than Orthodox Christian have the right to be completely exempted from the course by submitting a relevant statement.

The country’s highest administrative court added that the state must, if a sufficient number of pupils are exempted, provide a different course for them to do instead.