The opinions expressed by students do not represent the views of Ramallah Friends School (FBS) and Friends United Meeting.

Is the educational system in your country/ school secular or religious? – Filippas (Athens, Greece)

Unfortunately, yes. The educational system in my country is almost 75% based on religion. Religion is even taught in school as a subject, and I think that it’s not necessary at all because religion is something spiritual, not educational. Education should be education, not religion. Religion should not be considered an educational subject.
By Bakr

The people who live here are either Moslem or Christian. Christianity has its own privileges the same as Moslems. Most schools are made or owned by Christian people, but they include Moslem and Christian students. They take the same classes without any difference, but in religion classes, each group goes to its own class. In the rest of the country, the same thing happens. There is no difference between religions, and each religion has its own privileges.
By Nihad

The educational system in our country isn’t religious, but it forces students to learn their religion. Muslim and Christian students take classes, and learn more about their beliefs. I think that they should learn about their religion, and when they grow up they can choose to leave the religion or to believe in it. I think that most schools teach Islamic and Christian religion, and the students have to attend the classes. There are no religious schools in my city, Ramallah, but I don’t know about any other cities in the West Bank.
By Amro

The thing I like in my school is that it combines religion and secular studies. Every week, I take religion, sciences, math, and even PE. In religion class, we talk about God, and how he created us, and everything surrounding us. In the other classes, we study facts. Therefore, you see a school can combine the two studies together.
By Nicole

The educational system in our country is religious. It teaches what every religion says, and teaches the values of every religion, Islam and Christianity. Religious traditions and values are very important to us, because we can learn what God wants us to do, all of that can help us to be a good, generous society.
By Ahmad M

Government schools should not teach or promote religion. I do believe that religion is a personal and private issue. Public schools should not promote religion or religious feelings because promoting religion could affect the youth’s minds in a negative way. It can affect them negatively by making their thinking limited and biased towards a certain religion. After all, public schools open their doors to the majority of the students in our society, of different religions (Christians and Muslims), so we don’t have to be biased towards one religion.
By Tala

Should teachers be the same religion as the students they teach? – Filippas (Athens, Greece)

I have never believed that teachers should have the same religion or even the same citizenship as their students. The point is the person himself, if he or she is well educated, loves students, respects the differences between the students, and is caring—these are the important issues. We have many cases in our school, teachers who are not the same religion as the students they teach, but we sometimes prefer them more than those from the same religion, because of their characteristics.
By Lama

I think that it’s ok that teachers be the same religion as the students they teach, but not necessarily. In the end, teachers should be able to give students the right education in the right way. It doesn’t matter if the teacher is not the same religion as the students he/she teaches. Sometimes I think that teachers are better to have a different religion, so that they can also share different points of view with their students.
By Bakr

No one is judged on his religion in Palestine. Teachers in Palestine are not chosen on the basis of their religion or their beliefs, so teachers are free to choose any students they want without taking religion as an issue. Schools are neither religious nor secular, they are free; such issues in Palestine are taken as something personal; you can believe in what you want.
By Samer

All the religions teach the same things. The teachers need not be the same religion as the students they teach. Each one in the world has his or her religion, but all the people should respect each other, even when they have different religions. In teaching and learning not all people would be the same religion. Students and teachers have to respect each other whether they are the same religion or not because all religions teach the same things. All the people from different religions need to respect each other.
By Saja

Teachers are to teach the subjects they are given to teach. Even if they were a different religion from the students, this should not affect the subject they teach. Students learn sciences, languages, and arts from school, and those subjects generally are not to be affected by the teacher’s religion and his point of view. The students should respect their teacher, and the teacher should respect his students. Both parts are to learn and teach, so religion is not involved.
By Saher

Religion should not play a role in the way a teacher teaches his students. I'm a Christian, but most of the teachers who teach me are Moslems. They treat me the same way they treat a Moslem student. But for the religion classes, teachers from the same religion should teach students. I doesn't matter who is teaching me in other classes, because there should be no difference.
By Nihad

It’s a simple answer: of course not. Why should religion be in everything in our daily life, and it would be stupid if such a law were to be passed. For example, our school is Christian, but most of the students are Muslims, teachers also; but we, as students and teachers, don’t think about religion, mostly we don’t open a discussion about religion.
By Hagop

No, I believe teachers don't have to have the same religion as their students. Teachers might have the same religion, but I don't think that is necessary. Teachers can follow any religion they want. Religion teachers are the only teachers that should have the same religion as their students. In my opinion, the teacher's religion doesn't affect his/her ability to teach.
By Lena

No, because religion must not separate the people. Many people can teach others who are in a different religion. And I want to say that religion doesn’t affect education, so I think that people from other religions must cooperate with each other in the education process.
By Ameed

The teachers should not necessarily be the same religion as their students, although teachers who teach any religion subject should follow that religion. They need to know that religion in order to better educate students. Teachers who teach any other subject can follow any religion they want as long as they don’t confuse the students’ thinking. In my school, teachers have different religions, and my religion teacher has my same religion. Some other teachers have different beliefs than me, and they don’t try to convince me of their values and faith.
By Amro

Of course not. In my country, we do not care for these silly things. It does not matter if the teacher is a Moslem or Christian or from another religion; what matters is if the teacher does his job or not, if he teaches students or just takes his wage without teaching them. That is the important thing, but it should be the same religion when the teacher teaches a religion class, as it would be wrong to have a Christian teacher teaching an Islamic subject.
By Khalad

It doesn't matter what religion my teacher is. Religion doesn't take a big role in most of the schools. It is usually two lessons per week. And the students don't care if their teacher is Moslem or Christian. All that we care about is if he teaches well or doesn't.
By Yazeed

If a teacher is in a class teaching a certain subject, what difference would it make if the teacher is from a different religion? He is going to teach physics, math, chemistry, etc, he shouldn’t even mention his religion because it does not relate to the subject he is teaching.
By Nejad

I never believe that teachers should be the same religion and even the same citizenship. The point is the person himself, if he or she is well educated, loves students, respects the differences between the students, and is caring. These are the important issues. We have many cases in our school of teachers who are not the same religion as the students they teach, but we sometimes prefer them more than those from the same religion because of their characteristics.
By Lama

Are different religions integrated in your school? – Jakub Sedivy and Eugenia Geddes de Felicaia (Florence, Italy)

In our school, there is integration between different religions and these different religions are Muslim and Christian. We live in school like living in home. We live together for 12 years. We experience happiness and sadness together. We love each other, and respect each other, and nothing will separate us.
By Janan

In the Friends Boys School, you’ll find different religions. Christians and Muslims are found in this school. We never get into difficulty trying to feel free to say anything we want about whatever we want. Because, in the end, we’re all people and belong to one God. We Christians and Muslims are friends and talk to each other as if we’re a family. I think that’s what is unique about us. We don’t have racism at all, and we never think of religion and beliefs while we’re together as friends and a family.
By Monica

Actually, in our school different religions are integrated. Here in Palestine, there are three religions, but one of them is outside of the circle. This is not because we are prejudiced towards it, but just because of the behavior of its people. The other two religions are Islam and Christianity. In our school, there are Muslims and Christians, and most of the students in our school follow the concept that says: "Okay, we are friends, but let’s put religion and religious issues apart.”
By Sami

In our school (F.B.S.) different religions are integrated. We have two religions in our school which are the Islamic religion and Christianity. We are all friends and we are all treated the same; I love each and every one of my friends as much as I love myself. From my perspective there is no difference between a Muslim and a Christian.
By Rand

Yes, there are two different religions integrated in our school, Islamic and Christian religions. Both religions are taught because the school contains a majority of Muslim students and a minority of Christian students. I have many Christian friends and we don’t feel at all that religion will be something that will affect out close relationships with each other.

What is most important between students with different religions is that they respect each other’s religious beliefs. Specific areas of difficulties can result from the fact that some students do not understand or appreciate similarities and differences in a more open and flexible way.

Each one of the students might have set of principles and values within religion or across religions. This sometimes can cause hot discussions and arguments but does not cause severe divisions between students. Our school taught us that all religions have good and common principles that we all should appreciate and respect. At the end, we need to respect everyone’s belief regardless of differences in our values or thinking. For us, God is above differences because we all are his creation.
By Taleen

Actually, yes, in my school there are three types of students: Moslems, Christians, and a group of students who don’t believe in god. In our school we treat each other like we are the same and we never fight because of our beliefs and religions.
By Lina

Yes, our school is a mixture of Moslems and Christians. In our school, religious difference is not a problem. We all work together as brothers, without differentiating between a Moslem or a Christian. Even if there are a few people who have trouble with different religions, it doesn’t affect the policy and the society of the school because we are all the same.
By Basil

Palestine includes different religions. It's absolutely possible to have many religions in our school. There are two religions. The first one is Islam and the second one is Christianity. Different religions do not mean different problems. As a student, I see that there is no separation between anyone. Love can gather all of the people from different religions, different traditions, and different opinions. We all act as sisters and brothers where no one is curious to know the other religion. Sometimes, different students start talking about different religions. Each one has his own opinion but they don’t differ because students understand that everyone is related to his religion and believes in its words.
By Marian

Two different religions are integrated in my school. They are the Islamic and the Christian religions. Both religions interact with each other in several ways. In Palestine they interact in both bad and good ways. For example, in my school there is no difference between the students. They are all treated the same. But in several places in Palestine the two religions interact with each other in a very bad way. Sometimes there are crimes that happened because of the bad understanding between the two religions. In my school there are no specific areas of difficulty, but in other places in Palestine there is.
By Bashar

At The Friends Boys School religious beliefs are never a problem. Whatever a person believes in is their own personal issue. Yes, I believe that religions are integrated positively at our school. When I say that religion is their own personal issue that doesn't mean that we're too sensitive when it comes to religion. As a matter of fact, students with different beliefs often ask each other about religious holidays. There really isn't a gap between people.
By Reem

In the West Bank and Gaza there are two main religions. Most of the private schools have students from the Muslim and Christian religions. The government schools differ. On a daily basis, we, the students are friends. The background of each individual is ignored. There are very little problems that I personally try to avoid in order to keep my relation with my friends less tense.
By Juman

In my school there are two types of religions. These come naturally from my society because we are a country of two mixed religions. The two religions are Islam and Christianity. My school has a syllabus for both religions and students go to different classes. We have learned to live with each other side by side and to respect each other’s religion and beliefs. This created a kind of understanding and coexistence. Finally, I would like to say that I respect all religions no matter how different they are from mine.
By Lana

How do the religions in your school interact with each other and are there specific areas of difficulty? – Jakub Sedivy and Eugenia Geddes de Felicaia (Florence, Italy)

In our school, there is no difficulty interacting with each other. We have Christians and Muslims and we work together as a team without considering religion in our life. And I am against the idea of racism between Christians or Muslims; they should not have to look at each other as weird or different; after all, we are humans whether Muslim or Christian.
By Kamilia

I don’t view people and take my first impression from what religion they belong to. From my perspective, I don’t find any difficulty interacting with friends from different religions; most of my friends belong to different religions than I do, but that doesn’t reduce my love for them. I believe we are all the same no matter what our religion is.
By Rand

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