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Gmünd District – Good Ethics Experience

Education Minister Heinz Fassmann wants to introduce ethics lessons in all schools. Out of 2,120 compulsory schoolchildren in Gmünd County, only 117 students from the Volk, Mittel and Polytechnic schools are affected by ethics lessons for students who do not participate in regular religious studies. Ethics lessons are currently available only at the school center.

Thanks to compulsory "ethics lessons" for those students of the school center who do not want or cannot take part in religious education, they are among the first in the country. “This school test runs smoothly. Thus, there is a traditional religious education, and for those who have unsubscribed from this, does not belong to any denomination or cannot attend regular religious courses, lessons in ethics, ”said director Cordula Krammer.

This course of ethics was led by Alois Mulner from the very beginning: a religious teacher, who has been working since 1992, received special training in 2008 (see Interview).

“Especially Czech students and Muslims are turning to ethics lessons,” says Müllner. In a commercial college with a technical college, he teaches three groups, two groups in a commercial academy and one group in an advanced course. “The hours are spent on colleagues,” said an ethics teacher who was at the very first ethics teacher training session in Lower Austria.

Ethical lessons are not currently a problem in compulsory schools. Of the total of 1,194 pupils in primary schools, 42 were excluded from the religious education system, 64 pupils refused to subscribe in new secondary schools, and 11 people refused religious education at the Polytechnic School in Gmünd, which has 78 pupils. There are no cancellations with 45 special students.

“This is a classic urban problem,” says Hubert Prince, director of the Neue Mittelschule Weitra and Volksschulen Unserfrau and Moorbad Harbach. There are only two students in his high school who cannot attend religious education. “We cannot offer Protestant and Romanian Orthodox lessons,” says Prince. These two students are supervised during religious studies in other classes. This also applies to two Unserfrau elementary school students who belong to any denomination.

Christian Skoll, director of the new high schools Gmünd and Bad Großpertholz, as well as Volksschulverband St. Martin / Bad Großpertholz, displeased with Ethikunterricht-Regelung. “It's like a daily gym class. The offer is good, but there are no resources. “According to Skoll, in whose schools five students with Islamic education participate, this is the motto“ an idea from above, but from below.

Heidenreichstein Elementary School is an Islamic education. The teacher arrives, according to director Doris Adensam, specially from Krems.

Another way to go to high school for three years. “About ten percent of our 400 students do not participate in religious education. Instead, they are required to attend classes in another class, ”explains Director Günther Cetina.

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