Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Venezuela Education Law Eliminates Religious Education In Schools

Last week Venezuela's National Assembly passed a controversial new Education Law that impacts the teaching of religion in schools. According to a Catholic News Service report yesterday: "One clause of the new law, which covers all levels of education and both public and private institutions, requires education to have a 'lay character … in all circumstances' and leaves religious education to families." According to a report Saturday in the Miami Herald, the new law "gives a major role in education to the so-called 'communal councils,' which are community assemblies mostly dominated by the ruling Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela." Opponents who say the new law gives Hugo Chavez's central government too much control over schools say they will seek a referendum to overturn the law.