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Latvian Saeima approves moral education in schools

BC, Riga, 23.04.2015.Print version
Saeima in Latvia decided in the final reading today to approve amendments to the Education Law, stipulating that the education institution must provide moral education for the student in compliance with constitutional values, such as marriage and family, reports LETA.

At the same time, MPs rejected the idea that suggests prohibiting distribution of materials that can leave a negative impact on the student's moral development.


Thus, MP Julija Stepanenko's (Harmony) motion was approved in part.


Stepanenko originally proposed to introduce a legislation that prohibits the spread and use of materials in schools, which can leave a negative impact on students' moral, aesthetic, intellectual, or physical development.


The proposal gave rise to lively deebate. The organization "Papardes zieds" criticized the motion, saying that political parties are turning against the freedom of teachers and students in the name of morality. Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Unity) slammed the legislation, indicating that it "copies" the current ideological goals of Russia.


Meanwhile, Roman Catholic Archbishop Zbignevs Stankevics, Lutheran Archbishop Janis Vanags, Orthodox Metropolitan Alexander, and Baptist Congregations Union's Bishop Peteris Sprogis were in favor of the said amendments and urged MPs to pass the legislation.


The organization "Cenzurai ne" (No to Censorship) had prepared a petition, urging Saeima to withdraw MP Stepanenko's idea, as these amendments demonstrate the government's lack of trust in teachers and school principals. The organization believes that the legislation is based on certain deputies' individual notions and fears that have no scientific basis, indicating that the Education and Science Ministry, too, has voiced disapproval over the said amendments.

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