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Poland: MPs back controlling schools to stop 'threats to children's morals'

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By Euronews & Reuters
MPs say the law aims to protect children at schools.
MPs say the law aims to protect children at schools.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Vanessa Gera, File

Poland's government has moved closer to controlling schools after a new bill was approved by parliament.

Under the proposed legislation, extracurricular activities run by NGOs in schools will need to be approved by a government-appointed supervisor.

The ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party says the law is necessary to protect children during their education.

But opponents have expressed concern that the legislation could limit the teaching of LGBT+ and reproductive rights.

The so-called Czarnek law -- named after Poland's education minister -- was approved on Thursday by 227 lawmakers in the Sejm, while 214 voted against it.

The law will now move to the upper house of Poland's parliament -- the Senate -- where opposition parties hold a majority.

Przemysław Czarnek has said that the government should be able to block any education programme that is a "threat to children's morality".

But opposition MPs have expressed anger that the law was approved by Poland's parliament.

"Instead of rescuing Polish children from depression on the one hand and extreme poverty on the other, Minister Czarnek is engaged in politicising Polish schools," said Polish Left MP Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk on Twitter.

Since 2015, the PiS has introduced a series of educational reforms based on traditional Christian values.

If the bill is rejected by the Polish Senate, it will return to the Sejm for another vote before it can be signed into law by President Andrzej Duda.