Religious education on the decline in Catalonia

The subject of religion is attracting fewer pupils in Catalan schools, despite efforts by the PP party to bolster the subject in the Wert education reform.

According to figures from the Catalan education department, in the 2015/2016 school year, 159,311 pupils studied religion, fewer than the 182,687 who took the subject in 2010/2011. In secondary schools, only 30% of all pupils chose the subject (7% in public schools).

In Spain as a whole the trend has also been downward. Figures from the Conferencia Episcopal Española for 2015/2016 say 70% of primary school pupils and 55% of secondary school pupils studied the Catholic religion.

Given the decline, the PP government attempted to boost the subject in its Lomqe educational reform by putting the marks for religion on par with other subjects and getting rid of alternative citizenry classes.

Meanwhile, the Conferencia Episcopal Española took advantage of a government sympathetic to religion to suggest class prayers should be reinstated, something which caused outrage.

In Catalonia, former education minister, Irene Rigau, proposed compensating for “religious illiteracy” among young people by including the subject, culture and alternative ethical values to religion into the secondary curriculum for 2015/2016.

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