Hundreds of students in institutes of the province, enrolled in the subject of Religion, They have not yet given a single class on the subject this year due to the lack of teachers in the specialty with the requirements of Education.
After two months of the school year, several Secondary schools confirm to INFORMATION that they are still waiting for the Religion teacher and that the students enrolled in the subject have not been able to receive this teaching. Only at the Institute José Cavanilles from Alicante there are 245 students in these circumstances.
The lack of these teachers and the measures against the covid adopted in all the centers, in many cases obliges to take the affected students to the playground so that they are under the supervision of the on-call teachers at the center in question.
The Bishopric of the Orihuela-Alicante diocese, in charge of selecting Religion teachers and making them available to the Department of Education, which is finally the one that hires them, warns of INFORMATION questions from the “difficulties” they are having to fill vacancies “due to the high requirements that are currently demanded from the Ministry.”
They add from the Bishopric that this course has also encountered an increase in the request for more hours of Religion from Secondary institutes, for the consequent increase in enrollment as well.
The Religion subject is still this course optional for students, and compulsory offer by educational centers. According to the data collected in the Ministry of Education, Within two years and three school years, the province has doubled the number of second year high school students who ask to study Religion.
The qualification in this matter continues scoring when making the average grade for high school, With regard to the University entrance exams and, according to the data provided by the Ministry of Education, in the 2018-2019 academic year there were 1,230 students enrolled in Religion in the second year of Baccalaureate and this 2020-2021 academic year, they are 2,372 students who have signed up to teach this subject in centers in the province.
In the first year of Baccalaureate, the number of enrolled in Religion has remained with little variation, from the 5,568 students enrolled in 2018 to the 5,575 students who have requested it this year.
Regarding the requirements that the teaching staff must meet to be able to teach the subject, and those mentioned by the ecclesiastical leaders of the province among the different difficulties that they warn to have the necessary teachers, they are the same as those required of the rest of the teachers, as clarified from the department directed by the Minister of Education, Vicent Marzà. Its about level C1 of Valenciano and the master’s degree in Pedagogy, together with a bachelor’s degree. In addition, they must complete ecclesiastical studies -which last four years- and with which the corresponding ecclesiastical declarations of academic competence and suitability are obtained, which are those that the Church itself requires to allow the teaching of Religion to be empowered.
The educational leaders abound that since they came to the government of the Generalitat they have been demanding the master’s degree from the Religion teachers, as established by law and despite the fact that their predecessors, the PP, had not demanded it as appropriate.
They also add from Education that «Putting the interests of the students who claim the Catholic religion before them», they initially decided to extend the temporary situation of not requiring the master’s degree to teach the classes, but after having warned them from the Generalitat Lawyers that the situation could not become permanent, they have again demanded the master’s degree in pedagogy from these teachers .
However, to encourage the teaching of classes that have not even started for hundreds of students this year, Education has decided to include Religion among the teaching positions to be awarded by the emergency system or difficult to cover without and affirm that they hope to cover them « In the next weeks”.
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