High Court rules schools cannot promote one religion

The High Court in Johannesburg has ruled that schools cannot promote one religion or favour one over another.

The application was brought by the Organization for Religious Education and Democracy, known as Ogod, and was opposed by the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools as well as other groups such as Afriforum.

Ogod argued that there is religious bias in South African public schools.

Trade union Solidarity, which represented six schools involved in the case, says, however, the Constitution allows public schools to identify with one religion and promote it.

The case appears to have far-reaching implications for government schools across the country.

Gia Nicolaides has more on the story.

Having looked at that particular judgment he [the judge] quoted from the Constitution that neither as a school governing body nor a public school may lawfully hold out that it subscribes to only a single particular religion to the exclusion of others.

Gia Nicolaides, EWN reporter

He also added was that religious observations may be conducted at state to state-aided institutions provided that those observances follow rules made by the appropriate public authorities, that they are conducted on an equitable basis and that attendance at them is free and voluntarily.

Gia Nicolaides, EWN reporter

He says it is against the Education Act to promote one faith or religion as primary at the expense of others or allow school staff to do it or promote it.

Gia Nicolaides, EWN reporter

This is with regard to public state schools and not private schools.

Gia Nicolaides, EWN reporter

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio....

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