Christian newspapers Norway defend parents’ right of private schools
The two Christian daily newspapers in Norway have come out very strongly for the right of Christian private schools. In recent editorials, they took a stand against the critical policy of the government towards Christian education.
Just a few weeks ago, private schools in Norway lost their promised 1.5 million NOK (about 130,000 euros) in subsidies because of a government’s decision. This may seem to be a small amount, but actually, the money is crucial to Christian educational institutes.Also on other occasions, the left-wing Labour government has quite a critical direction towards religious schooling.
The amount of lost subsidies may not seem to be relevant, but for private schools, it is necessary to keep up the maintenance of their building and to pay their rent, Vart Land writes. Especially in a time of rising costs, these schools can use this money very well.
For the Christian daily, the government's signal is evident: the ruling parties do not prioritise Christian education. Several of these schools now find themselves fighting for their existence. They feel devalued and misunderstood, Vart Land writes.
Therefore, the newspaper points out that the psychological effect of the subsidy loss is much more important than the actual amount concerned. "It is simply a petty decision and not least a poor way of conducting economic management of politics", the comment reads. The authors plead for more awareness among the ruling parties of the impression they make with their decisions.
If the freedom of education becomes something that parents have to finance themselves, it will become a privilege of the rich, Vart Land argued earlier. It also rejected the government's claim that private schools threaten public ones. Vart Land points out that only 4.6 per cent of the children attend private primary schools.
Also, Dagen, the other Christian daily in Norway, is very critical of the educational policies of the Storting. "Children do not belong to the state", the chief editors argue in a comment.
Children in Norway are spending more and more time at school, especially at public schools, the daily reports. That means that these institutions have a significant influence on the development of children, the newspaper warns. Therefore, the chief editors argue that Christian parents should be vigilant to keep track of the values the school of their children promotes.
In addition, parents should be aware of their right to choose their children's education in line with their own convictions, the comment furthermore reads. It points out that the UN Declaration of human rights states that parents have this right and that states are obliged to ensure this.
According to Dagen, the state's role in raising children should be limited to being a "helper" for the parents, not the other way around.
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