eurel

Données sociologiques et juridiques sur la religion en Europe et au-delà

Tweeter Rss

Accueil > Pologne > Droit et religion > Dispositions > Ecole > Statut de l’enseignement

Statut de l’enseignement

According to art. 70 para. 3 of the Constitution, “Citizens and institutions shall have the right to establish primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education, and educational development institutions. The conditions for establishing and operating non-public schools, the participation of public authorities in their financing, as well as the principles of educational supervision of such schools and educational development institutions, shall be specified by statute”. This provision also applies to churches and other religious denominations.

In addition, as stated in art. 53 para. 4 of the Constitution, “The religion of a church or other legally recognized religious organization may be taught in schools, but other peoples’ freedom of religion and conscience shall not be infringed thereby”. This right stems from the right of parents to raise their children in accordance with their worldview that may be of religious character. This is expressed in art. 53 para. 3 of the Constitution : “Parents shall have the right to ensure their children a moral and religious upbringing and teaching in accordance with their convictions”.

Other normative acts that are important to teaching religion in schools are the following : the Act on the School Education System and the Ordinance of the Minister of Education of 14 April 1992 on the Conditions and Manner of Organizing Religious Education in Public Kindergartens and Schools.

The Constitutional Tribunal, in a judgment of 30 January 1991, confirms that “Polish schools have a secular character because teaching religion is an internal matter of religious denominations, and public education curricula do not suggest any religious point of view”.
The preamble to the Act on the School Education System provides that teaching and education rest on universal ethical principles. Also, respect for the Christian system of values is declared.

Religious education in public schools

Religious education in public schools is a voluntary school subject. It is possible to choose between religious education and ethics. Kindergartens and elementary schools organise religious instruction at the request of parents. In high schools, both parents and students are entitled to demand the organization of this kind of instruction. After reaching adulthood, the students can independently decide to continue or discontinue religious education.

A public kindergarten or school is supposed to arrange the teaching of a particular religion (ethics) for a group of at least seven students within the same class (or kindergarten pupils). When this number is smaller, the school needs to arrange for religious instruction (ethics) in inter-class groups. If the number of interested students is below seven in the whole school, the teaching of their religion is organized in inter-school groups (in catechetical centers outside schools). Currently, there is no limit to the number of students wishing to receive religious education in inter-school groups. The limits binding before 2014 (at least three students in an inter-school group) were abolished as a consequence of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case Grzelak v. Poland.

Religious education

Teaching religion is an internal matter of religious denominations. Curricula of religious education are established by churches and other religious denominations and presented to the Minister of National Education for information purposes. This confirms the principle of exclusive competence of the authorities of religious denominations to develop individual curricula, §4 of the Ordinance of the Minister of Education of 14 April 1992.

Religion or ethics are graded, and the mark is reported on school certificates but it does not play a role in a student’s promotion to the next grade. The school certificate does not indicate which religious course or ethics a student has attended. The mark is included in the calculation of the average grade, which may determine whether a student obtains a pass with honours or graduates with honours. In the judgment of 2 December 2009 (U. 10/07), the Constitutional Tribunal found no incompatibility in this solution.

Staff

Authorities of churches and other religious denominations are free to designate teachers of religion. To be employed in a particular school, a religion teacher should have a written appointment issued by the competent authority of his or her religious denomination (for the Catholic Church, it is the diocesan bishop). Teachers of religion are paid from the state budget and are school employees. A religion teacher is also subject to the rules applying to promotion and remuneration, just as all other teachers. Teachers of religion should have specific qualifications to teach religion in schools, which are laid out in the agreements between the Minister of National Education and the supreme authorities of individual religious organizations. The agreements have been signed with : the Catholic Church (Polish Episcopal Conference), churches affiliated to the Polish Ecumenical Council (the Church of Christian Baptists, the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession, the Evangelical Methodist Church, the Evangelical Reformed Church, the Polish Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Mariavite Church, the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church), the Pentecostal Church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, religious organizations affiliated to the Evangelical Alliance (the Church of God in Christ, the Church of God, the Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith, the Church of Christ, the ‘Christ for All’ Church, the Church of the Good Shepherd, the Evangelical Christian Church, the Free Christian Church, the ‘Lord is the Banner’ Christian Centre – the Church in Tarnów, the Christian Reforming Church, the Christian Pentecostal Community, the Evangelical Pentecostal Community), the Evangelical Fraternal Union and the Congregation in Wodzisław Śląski.

Curriculum

As stated in the answer to the parliamentary question no. 18711, from 2010 to 2017, curricula in religious education were submitted to the Minister of Education by over 20 churches and other religious denominations. Besides the Catholic Church, these are in particular : the Pentecostal Church, the Muslim Religious Community, the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, the Church of Evangelical Christians, the ‘Lord is the Banner’ Christian Centre – the Church in Tarnów, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Church of Christian Baptists, the Union of Jewish Communities, the Congregation in Wodzisław Śląski, the Church of God in Toruń, the Old Catholic Mariavite Church, the Polish Catholic Church, the Church of God in Christ, the Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith, the Church of Christ and the Evangelical Fraternal Union.

Other matters

It should be noted that students who attend religion classes are entitled to exemption from courses in three consecutive days in order to participate in a retreat in the period of the Lent. In addition, in accordance with the Ordinance of the Minister of Education of 11 August 2017 on the Organisation of the School Year, the school headmaster may establish extra days off during the school year. This may be religious holidays which are not free from work by statute.

According to §12 of the 1992 ministerial Ordinance, there is a possibility of placing crosses in classrooms, although the Ordinance does not impose any obligation of this kind.

For more information, see :
- Aneta Abramowicz, “Teaching of religion in the system of public education and equality of religious organizations”, in Roczniki Nauk Prawnych, 2015, issue 3, pp. 7-32.
- Józef Krukowski, “Religion in public education – Poland” in Gerhard Robbers (ed.), Religion in Public Education – La religion dans l’éducation publique, Trier : European Consortium for Church and State Research, 2011, pp. 383-398.
- Piotr Stanisz, Law and religion in Poland, Alphen aan den Rijn : Wolters Kluwer, 2017, pp. 127-133.

13 mars 2018