The National Council of the Laity in Venezuela has rejected the recently passed reform of the country’s educational laws, not only because of the “illegitimate and illegal way in which this law has been imposed on us,” but also because it is an attack against Venezuelans' constitutional rights.
The Council’s statement denounced the country’s National Assembly for how it handled the measure and said the legislative body adopts a position that puts the State before society and identifies the interests of the State with the opinion of those who are in power at a given moment. The behavior of the lawmakers shows scorn and contempt for the families the State ought to be serving, they added.
“We reject, therefore, the illegitimate and illegal way in which this law has been imposed on us,” the Council said.
The new law on education prohibits state-run schools from offering religion classes of any kind. The law was passed while teachers and school administrators were on vacation.
After noting that education is a human right, which includes the right to religious education, the Venezuelan lay organization said the approved law “has a clear collectivist orientation that dissolves the person into a social entity to which he is subordinate, instead of serving as a sphere for his realization.”
The Council also said the new law attacks the academic freedom of universities, as well as the right of parents to have their children receive religious education according to their own beliefs.
“For this reason we reject his law, which does not comprehensively promote the human person in his dignity and freedom, nor adapt to the plural reality of today’s world, and which disrespects our Constitution and does not provide the kind of education Venezuela needs,” the Council stated.
It called on Venezuelans to become familiar with the new law and to become involved at the local and national levels to lessen its impact and work to overturn it.