Nobel Winner Criticizes UK's Support of Religious Schools

October 29, 2003

Source: The Scotsman

On October 29, 2003 The Scotsman reported that "a Nobel prize-winner, who is credited with helping to transform education in the developing world, has criticised the Scottish Executive’s stance on denominational schools, claiming single-faith establishments damage educational attainment. Amartya Sen, an economist from India, made his comments yesterday in a keynote speech to the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in Edinburgh. In his address to ministers from 52 Commonwealth states, Mr Sen criticised the support given by Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, and Jack McConnell, the First Minister, to faith schools. He told the ministers: 'I personally believe that even the UK government makes a mistake in expanding, rather than reducing, faith-based schools, adding, for example, Muslim schools, Hindu schools and Sikh schools to pre-existing Christian ones.'"