NSW Teachers Call For Religious Studies To Be Removed From Public Schools
A campaign is brewing in New South Wales to have religious studies removed from public schools.
According to the NSW Education Minister Sonia Hornery, the NSW Teachers Federation is leading the charge to ditch teaching about Christianity and other religions.
Writing on Facebook, the Minister asked whether parents and teachers wanted religious education to remain in the curriculum and the results were mixed.
One person responded with: "NO! Resounding no! Our society is supposed to be secular and scripture classes are designed to target kids who don't have the critical skills needed to question information given to them in a authorial environment where they operate under the implicit understanding they are being taught 'truth' or 'knowledge'.
Another added: "As a teacher I've witnessed some really inappropriate scripture lessons. Complaints made and no change. Not to mention the wasted time for non scripture as they can not be perceived to be doing learning. So very frustrating."
On the flip side, there were people who reckon it should stay.
A user replied to the poll, saying: "I am not a religious person but I believe it is very important for the development of our young people to have all the information presented to them in order the make their own decisions and choose their own beliefs.
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"Absolutely scripture should be kept in school, as should the ethics class and our children should be able to choose between."
A different parent said: "In an age where the scientific utopian world dream hasn't been eventuated, a faith that will dispel fear & provide hope is extremely helpful for emotional health. Surely the Covid Pandemic has only confirmed this point."
It's hoped that the extra hour a week will allow teachers to continue furthering their students' knowledge in other areas.
Under the Education Act 1990, it states that 'every government school' allocates time for the 'religious education of children of any religious persuasion'. Schools can use that hour to instead teach ethics as a secular alternative.
Interestingly, three years ago, a report was handed down finding that mandated religious education was 'inappropriate'.
There were some concerning Bible passages that were discussed in the curriculum, including one section that explained how cancer was a 'consequence of sin and a gift from God', according to the Guardian.
The review suggested implementing a measure where parents can opt into religious education rather than making them opt their kids out. That recommendation was rejected by the government.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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