Sweden must discuss banning religious schools: minister

Sweden must discuss banning religious schools: minister
Aida Hadzialic. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT
Sweden needs to discuss whether to ban religious schools amid reports that some schools are segregating boys and girls, Minister for Upper Secondary School Aida Hadzialic has argued.

The minister is calling for multi-party talks in parliament to discuss how to “really guarantee that school classes are free from religious elements”, she said in an interview with newspaper Aftonbladet. 

“The schools law stipulates that school tuition must be secular, but we are receiving worrying signals that this is not the case, that girls and boys are being taught separately. We can’t have it like that,” said Hadzialic. 

The minister said she would push for change in parliament this autumn after the education ministry was informed of schools separating boys and girls. 

“Swedish schools should be for everybody, they should break down segregation and form the basis for Sweden to stay strong.” 

Sweden's free school system of state-funded but privately run schools was introduced in 1992 and paved the way for religious organisations to operate schools as long as they stuck to the secular Swedish curriculum.

Aida Hadzialic, a 29-year-old born in Bosnia-Hertzagovina, was relatively new to politics when Prime Minister Stefan Löfven named her in his cabinet in 2014. She worked as a lawyer until 2010. 

SEE ALSO: Sweden tries to rein in religion at free schools