ASTANA – Secularism and religious studies will be added to the national education system ninth grade curriculum beginning in September 2016, the Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science recently announced.
Currently, a 34-hour-per-year religious studies curriculum is included for ninth grade students on a voluntary basis.
Teachers of the new mandatory curriculum titledSecularism and Religious Foundations will undergo training based on a manual compiled by a team led by Kazakh philosopher GarifollaYessim.
Secularism and Religious Foundations, according to Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, will be a set of sciences that study the history of dogma and institutional forms of religious life, religious heritage (religious art, monuments of religious literature, religious education, and research and development), traditional religious rights, the archaeological history of religion, history and the current state of relations betweenreligious doctrines and religious organisations.
The study of religion in the system of higher education is considered to be secular. The subject will include detailed studies of History of Religion, Islamic theology, Christian theology, Qur’an and its studies, Philosophy of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Psychology of Religion, Religious Anthropology, Religious Ethics and Axiology, Religion and Art, Religion and Culture, Freedom of Thought and Religion, Non-traditional Cults and Esoteric Teachings, State-Religious Relations in Kazakhstan, Islam in Kazakhstan and Orthodoxy in Kazakhstan.
The new curriculum is being instituted under Minister of Education and Science Order No. 281.