Christian school Norway accused of narrow view on sexual ethics
The Norwegian Directorate of Education worries about the curriculum of a Christian school in Inderøy municipality in Trøndelag, Central Norway. The school has been the centre of controversy for its teaching of homosexuality and the creation of the earth.
Several media gave publicity about the content of the lessons about homosexuality and the origin of the earth, Vart Land writes. Students at the Inherred Christian School learn, for example, that homosexuality is a sin and that the earth is created in six days, 6000 years ago. The Norwegian Directorate of Education published a preliminary inspection report on Monday after it opened an investigation and placed the school under supervision last year.
In its report, the Directorate writes that it has found a "possible breach of the regulations." It aims to "investigate whether the school provides training in accordance with the approved curricula", head of supervision Marrianne Granlund says.
Of the eight points the school invested in, the Directorate found four possible violations. It points out that the school's education is not run "fully in accordance with the school's approved curricula and the purpose provided in the Private Schools Act."
One example of this violation is that the school says in its periodic plans that students should identify, describe, explore and present issues and social views, Vart Land writes. However, in practice, this does not happen, the Directorate ruled. "This applies to the teaching of Christian studies and science, where most of the school's teaching at all levels from 5th to 10th grade is centred around a few concrete and narrow themes", the report reads, even though it does not explicitly mention any examples.
Inherred Christian School
Inherred Christian School is located in Central Norway. The primary school has about 40 pupils. They are a Lutheran school and adhere to the Church of Norway. "We are an alternative to the public school, and our school will help parents to give their children a Christian education", the school writes on its website.
The Directorate orders that the school must ensure that values set by the Private Schools Act are taught at school. These include tolerance and equality between the sexes, it writes.
Other points of critique are that the students do not know the curriculum in the subject sufficiently and that the school board has not been appointed in accordance with the school's statutes. Also, the Directorate accuses the school of not being cooperative when it comes to health services. The school only wants the municipal health service to contribute to weighing, measuring and vaccinations. For the rest, they want to have their own health education without having to include, for example, attention to Pride in health education. For this purpose, they also have employed a health nurse.
The principal of the Inherred School, Bjørn Valde, acknowledges that some things have not been right at the school. However, he disagrees with the curriculum being too narrow. "The teaching is not bad, but the documentation is. This is due to changes in personnel, the board and other unfortunate circumstances", he says to Dagen. The school must respond to the preliminary report before February 23.
Valde acknowledges that his school teaches the pupils about the creation of the earth. However, he adds that "the most common opinion today is the theory of evolution." Students are then required to reflect on it critically.
On the other hand, students are not asked critical questions about creation, Valde adds. "Because it is written in the Bible. We do not teach them to be critical of what is written in the Bible because we consider it to be true. But we say that Christians can have different perceptions of how the creation of the earth is to be understood."
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