Schools have been warned they have to offer students something to do during religion classes - if they opt out.
A circular has been issued by the Department of Education to say they'll have to provide alternative tuition throughout the school year rather than supervised study.
The Minister says he doesn't want any pupils left sitting at the back of the class or confined to the library.
The new arrangements take effect immediately.
Minister Richard Bruton said it is important that "multi-denominational schools, fully implement this circular as it presents an important opportunity to meet the expectations of parents and students in a changing society."
"This can only be achieved by consulting with parents, and including their wishes as part of the normal planning process of any school", he said.