Proposal relating to Cycle of Lectures for Public School Teachers
On 29 November 2019, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Government of Georgia and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia with a proposal relating to the cycle of lectures organized for public school teachers.
The Public Defender considers that the cycle of public lectures on History of Religion conducted for public school teachers did not comply with the legal principle of separating public schools from religious associations. It should be noted that both orthodox teachers and representatives of other religions had to listen to orthodox preaching. The importance and priority of orthodoxy over other religions was emphasized at the lecture.
It is inadmissible that celebration of religious holidays become a reason for indoctrination in the educational space of the country. In addition, the indoctrination lectures should not become a trend in the school environment, as it can further damage the educational process. The process of organizing and conducting the above cycle of lectures contains serious signs indicating that the State is assuming confessional functions, which endangers the religious neutrality of public schools and significantly increases the risk of proselytism and indoctrination in the school environment.
The Public Defender calls on the Government of Georgia and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia to ensure planning and implementation of targeted educational activities for public school teachers based on the principle of secularism and to take all effective measures to safeguard religious neutrality in public schools.