Student unions want spaces for silence and prayer in combating psychological complaints among students

Student unions want spaces for silence and prayer in combating psychological complaints among students

There should be a place for prayer and silence in every educational institution, according to the various organizations of students and pupils. Through a manifesto, they hope to persuade the House of Representatives to ensure proper quiet rooms in schools and universities.

Members of the National Student Union (LSVb) and other student and pupil interest groups delivered the statement to the Standing Committee on Education, Culture and Science on Tuesday afternoon, a committee that includes several House members.

The Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (ISO) demonstrates the need for quiet rooms in schools, colleges and universities.

More welcome

Devoted students should be able to have a place to pray and, for example, for young people with autism, educational institutions should also provide rooms in which they can relax, according to the signatories. The organizations believe that this will make the students feel more welcome and that this will also contribute to the well-being of the students.

The statement is signed by a large list of organizations committed to high school students, students in secondary vocational education, higher vocational education, and university. In addition to LSVb and ISO, this is the STIP student platform, the LAKS Student Union and JOB, an organization for MBO students. In addition, MSA Netherlands, an interest group for Muslim students, and Elke(in), an inclusive organization that advocates for people with a disability or chronic illness, have signed on.

loss of neutrality

In April, there was a debate about whether public education should allow prayer in quiet rooms. Public schools are not required to provide prayer rooms for students, but at the same time they cannot prevent students from praying due to religious freedom.

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than search for Norwegian Refugee Council It turns out that many public school administrators are actively opposed to prayer rooms, because they fear influencing or putting pressure on less religious students. According to Rafik Hagenars, President of LAKS, public schools should not be afraid of “losing their neutrality,” as she says in devotion. “We just ask them to make a space. Then the pupil or student chooses whether to use it or not.”

too small

Quiet rooms are generally accepted in higher education, but there is still room for improvement there as well, and the organizations behind the statement see. “The spaces currently provided are not inclusive and available for all pupils and students to relax, pray or meditate.”

For example, the quiet rooms in some institutions are very small and it also happens that the needs of different groups of students do not match; A low-stimulation environment for students with autism, for example, conflicts with the needs of Muslim students who want to pray.

The statement was received by the Standing Committee for Education, Culture and Science in the House of Representatives. It is not yet known how it will be dealt with and whether quiet rooms in education will be on the agenda.

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