Sweden pledges to impose a ban on religious schools
Outlining its education policy ahead of this year’s General Election, Sweden’s governing Social Democrats yesterday pledged to ban religious schools in an effort to combat segregation.
At a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden’s Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi, above, said the Swedish education system needs to be based on the values and principals in the Swedish constitution.
Shekarabi, who grew up with gender-segregated religious in Iran, said he will:
Never accept that the oppression that I and many with me have fled from will find its way into the Swedish education system.
The Social Democrats, which leads a minority government with the Greens, said in a statement that Sweden’s school system should be based on knowledge, learning, equality and democratic values where each pupil:
Is free to form their own ideas and future.
Minister for Upper Secondary School and Adult Education and Training Anna Ekström, above, said at the press conference:
In our schools, teachers and principals should make the decisions, not priests or imams.
While Sweden has a long tradition of private schools complementing the public education system, the number of such institutions increased significally after the country, in the early 1990s, required municipalities to provide them with funding.
While most of these schools have a general focus, some are based on a special pedagogy or language while others focus on a religion such as Christianity or Islam. According to the Social Democrats, that has led to greater segregation in the country.