by Mladen Aleksic
There is a regime sui generis for religious teachers in Serbia, which is still unresolved.
Their contract with the school lasts only for one year and after its completion, their resignation is required. They do not have the possibility to sign a permanent contract, by the actual “Law on the fundamentals of the education system.”
In 2001, the then-Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic decided to reestablish religious education in the Serbian school system. It was the period of renewing good relations between the State and the Serbian Orthodox Church. On November 2, 2001, the then-Patriarch Pavle held the first class of religious studies in school in Belgrade.
After 20 years, many ministers of education still try to find a solution to this problem. In January 2021, the Union of Education Workers asked the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development, Branko Ruzic to resolve the status of religious teachers.
He replied to them on February 2 that “conditions have not yet been created” and that “such a complex situation requires a detailed analysis, a broader social debate and the declaration of the competent institutions, traditional churches, and religious communities.”
Also in the Serbian school system every year the students in primary and high school must choose one of the two optional classes: Religious studies or civics.
According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, there are 1902 religious teachers in Serbia.
As Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development told OrthodoxTimes, in Serbian primary and high schools, 441,487 students attend Religious classes (63% of total) and 259.013 students attend Civic (37%).
Also,393.349 students attend Orthodox religious education, 15.103 attend Catholic, 173 attend Evangelical-Christian, 1101 attend Evangelical-Lutheran, 561 attend reformed christian 561 and 31.200 attend muslim education in both, primary and secondary grades.