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February 27, 2021
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Patriarch Daniel sends letter to the Education Minister to defend the students’ rating with marks at Religion class

Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) sent Education Minister Monica Anisie a letter reaffirming the importance of Religion class in the framework plans for primary, secondary and high school cycles and stressing that not rating the students with marks, or alternatives to marks are an “offense” to the status of this school subject.

“We reaffirm the importance of the inclusion of the subject Religion in the common core, in the framework plans for primary, secondary and high school education. (…) Religion is an integral and defining element of European culture. Without relevant knowledge we cannot understand the history and culture of this continent. This is why in almost all European countries, Religion is taught in the public education system. The values offered by religious education are an essential spiritual landmark and an existential link between all the knowledge acquired through the study of the other school subjects,” the Patriarch wrote, according to basilica.ro.

Patriarch Daniel emphasizes that “not rating the students at Religion class or finding alternative solutions to marks is an offense to its status as a school subject”.

“Assessment is a specific element of any school subject; therefore, it is also necessary in Religion class. Not rating the students at Religion class or finding alternative solutions to marks is an offense to its status as a school subject. The mark works as an incentive to learning both positively (‘I learn to get a high mark’) and negatively (‘if I don’t get marks, why should I learn?’). Correlated with this motivating role, the students and teachers consider the mark as a barometer of the students’ efforts. The effort made by the students in accumulating knowledge and in the formation of moral-religious attitudes and behaviors needs to be rewarded and valued,” emphasizes Patriarch Daniel.

The letter of the BOR Patriarch follows the completion by the Education Ministry’s working group of four variants of framework plan for secondary education, with the first variant proposing a different assessment in the subjects Artistic (plastic/musical) education, Religion, Physical education and sports than in the other subjects in the common core, specifically by grades, on ground that these subjects are based on “innate predispositions, skills, inclinations, and have an explicit vocational character”.

“Therefore, in accordance with the constitutional provisions, with National Education Law No. 1/2011 and the wish of the majority of the students’ parents, please ensure the inclusion of the subject Religion in the common core in the new framework plans for primary, secondary and high-school education, as well as the students’ assessment with marks, not grades. Also, in accordance with Note No. No. 8.711 / 08.04.2020 of the Ministry of Education and Research, we request that any major approach in the field of education be in line with the Romanian pedagogical tradition, after a wide consultation with the parents’ organizations and the officially recognized religious cults in Romania,” the letter of the BOR Patriarch quoted by Agerpres,  reads.

Photo: www.basilica.ro

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