.- Spain’s Minister of Education, Jose Ignacio Wert, announced on Jan. 31 that the government will eliminate the controversial course Education for the Citizenry from required school curriculum and replace it with a course on civics “free of controversial issues and ideological indoctrination.”
Beginning in 2006, the Socialist government began requiring all students to take Education for the Citizenry, which promoted secularism, gender ideology and abortion. The mandatory nature and the content of the course cause parents to strongly object to it as a violation of their right to educate their children according to their own convictions.
“Education for the Citizenry has been controversial from the outset and has created serious divisions in society and in the field of education,” Wert told a congressional committee on education.
He said the Socialist government course “went beyond what true civics education should be according to the directives of the Council of Europe.”
For this reason, a new course will replace it that will teach students about the Spanish constitution and about the values that make up a democratic and pluralistic society, as well as the history of the European Union and Spain’s place in it.
Numerous organizations have praised the decision. The president of the group Professionals for Ethics, Jaime Urcelay, said “It is a great joy that makes up for years of effort and struggle for freedom in the face of educational indoctrination imposed by the government.”
He noted that families have been protesting the course for years and that over 3,400 lawsuits were filed against the Spanish government and before the European Court in Strasburg.
Urcelay said a new course on civics and the democratic system would be in complete contrast with Education for the Citizenry and a welcome change “if it does not interfere in the values of the students and is not intended to shape their consciences and thinking against the will of their parents.”