Cross at school © Karl-Josef Hildenbrand
In addition to religious education, elementary schools in North Rhine-Westphalia are to offer a subject called "ethics" in the future. This was confirmed by a spokesman for the NRW Ministry of Education in Dusseldorf.
He referred to a corresponding announcement by Education Minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) in the education committee of the state parliament that she wanted to "make ethics instruction possible" at elementary school in the future. This is the state government's reaction to societal changes.
The school minister has so far given as little concrete information on the content of the new elementary school subject as on a possible date for the start of ethics instruction. It also remains to be seen at how many elementary schools in NRW the new subject will be taught. In her approach, the minister refers to the coalition agreement concluded between the CDU and the FDP. It literally says: "In addition to more diverse religious denominations, the number of families without denominational ties has also increased. Therefore, we will make ethics instruction possible in elementary schools."
A subject called "ethics" for elementary school students who do not participate in religious instruction already exists in Bavaria, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, according to the Ministry of Culture. In the current school year, Lower Saxony is testing the introduction of a subject called "Values and Norms" at elementary schools.