Although the Senate rejected the request of President Klaus Iohannis to reconsider the law on sex education taught in schools and voted it in the previous form, in which children’s attending the sex education classes is conditioned by the written consent of the parent, Prime Minister Florin Cîțu announced that sex education will be introduced in schools in a course of “education for life”, starting next year, and that parents who do not agree will be able to withdraw their children, as is the case with religious classes. “The decision is taken” the prime minister said.
“I spoke with Minister of Education Sorin Cîmpeanu after this vote and I made the decision – and we will implement it, the curriculum belongs to the Ministry of Education through the education law – a class, called Education for Life, will be introduced next year. Parents who want to withdraw their children from that class will be able to do so. That religion class will work. I believe that the Minister of Education will announce it in the coming days, the decision is taken“, PM Cîțu told TVR 1.
Asked if he no longer hopes that the vote in the Chamber of Deputies will be different, the prime minister replied: “No. The Minister of Education has found the solution and we will take it over to the Government “.
“I am very upset, but things have to move forward. Romanians deserve transparency from us and we will give it to them. Despite of what happened today in the Senate, the solution came immediately. I talked to the Minister of Education, we will have this law in the curriculum. It is the prerogative of the ministry to make the curriculum for next year and it will introduce this subject”, Cîțu added.
“I would have voted differently,” he replied when asked how he would have voted if he were a senator.
President Klaus Iohannis ‘request to re-examine the law that provides for the introduction of “health education” courses instead of “sex education” and conditions students’ participation in courses with the written consent of their parents was rejected by the Senate on Tuesday.
There were 105 votes for rejection, one vote against, of senator Alina Gorghiu and 24 abstentions, coming from the USR PLUS senators.
In his turn, the Minister of Education, Sorin Cîmpeanu, said that there is a need for sex education in schools, “because the level of information on this subject is very low and because the number of young mothers is very high”.
He also reacted to a statement made by the Romanian Orthodox Church, which opposes sex education taught at school.
“I answer what I have answered so far. Sex education is a component of education for life. It can be done with parental consent. When they do not agree, they can withdraw their child. It’s also about the grading system. If you have the possibility to retire, you have a different status from the Romanian language, from where you cannot retire. That is why we need a specific approach that takes into account the mechanisms in education”, the minister pointed out.
The Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) made it clear on Tuesday that it opposes the introduction of sex education classes in schools, arguing that such an approach represents “an attack on the innocence of children, which can mark their lives”.