Norwegian government turns down request for humanist school
Posted: Wed, 30 May 2012 11:33
Norway's Ministry of Education has declined an application for a private school to be run according to humanist ideology.
The proposed private school was to give children an education offering secular, humanistic philosophies of life. However, the Ministry of Education declined the application, which would include receiving state funding, as it breached governmental private school legislation "religious grounds".
These grounds were agreed in 2007 under a tri-partite coalition-Christian Democrat (KrF) compromise, allowing new non-state schools to apply for government grants on a special basis, including religion, or recognised different pedagogic system like the Steiner School.
Deputy education minister Elizabeth Dahle explained the government's decision to deny permission in this case was that children need teachers who believe in God in order to make their own perception of religion.
"It is difficult to see how secular, humanistic religious schools should be covered by legal provisions based on a general understanding of the concept of religion," she told Christian newspaper Vårt Land.
"We see the value of as many children attending [regular] public school, and believe creating the most inclusive society is important," she added.