The members of the Committee on Constitution, justice and citizenship (CCJ) passed a Bill 130 Legislative Assembly of the Senate of November 27, 2018. The bill for the exams and training courses students who are unable to visit them by conviction of conscience.
The bill drafted by the Senate, received “final approval”, which means that it will not be directed at the plenary session of the house and is awaiting the President’s signature. It is expected that after the President signs it, the text will be included as article 7-A of the national law of bases and guidelines for education.
The leaders said that almost store Saturday students attending public or private schools, now has a legal instrument, which guarantees them freedom of conscience and religious belief. “The text provides for the right of students at any level — except of military education is to pass exams or classes on the day of their worship if their faith is incompatible with such actions,” they explained.
The CCJ, in which the bill was discussed, negotiated alternatives, which could be resorted to schools that offer such exceptions. Among the options they mentioned, is replacement exams or classes and offer alternative dates to meet the requirements of the educational process. It also lists the replacement research projects, themes, tasks and timelines defined by each institution.
Official records show that Marcos Vinicius de Campos has proposed a similar bill in 1997. However, according to the Federal chamber, the bill was debated and finally filed in February 1999.
The sponsor of the bill in the CCJ, Federal MP Maria to Rosario, considered the nature of the respect for the freedom of religious expression. She stressed that article 5 of the Brazilian Constitution guarantees that freedom of religion is inviolable and must be protected. And she added: “no One will be deprived of their rights because of religious beliefs, ideology or political beliefs.”
The Director of the division of external relations and religious liberty in South America (PARL) Helio Carnesale said approval of the bill was a major victory for religious freedom, especially for the thousands of students who observe religious days. He also paid tribute to those who helped to achieve this result. “Many of them contributed to this for many years, including the representatives and leaders of the churches,” he said, mentioning some of them by name.
Church leaders explained that it is difficult to determine how many students will benefit from this new law. However, there is an indicator associated with this bill.
“The last study of the Ministry of education it was found that about 100,000 students, Sabbath-keeping, have passed the national examination higher education in Brazil,” they said.