By: Kim Wilkinson
A recent television report from Channel 9’s ‘A Current Affair’ suggests that religious education should be removed from state schools. They are reaching out for public opinion via an online poll.
The Channel 9 story involves mother and former lawyer Alison Courtice, who is petitioning the Queensland Government to remove Religious Educators and their classes from State Schools, through her Parents for Secular State Schools Movement.
Ms Courtice claims that for school children, “It’s just education and that’s what state schools are supposed to be in the business of doing.”
“To be a multicultural society, is to be a multi-faith society”
Queensland Uniting Church’s Reverend David Baker responded in the story stating, “To be a multicultural society, is to be a multi-faith society,” and advocates for religious instruction from all faiths in state schools. He ensured that “The curriculums we use are refreshed every year, they’re written by quality educational professionals.”
Kamal Weerakoon from the NSW Presbyterian Church sees great value in educating students about a variety of religions, providing parents approved.
Religious instruction in State Schools is optional and requires approval from parents for children to attend.
Ms Courtise is requesting the removal of Religious Educators from State Schoolrooms, however Mr Weerakoon stated that, “People who really believe a religion are best equipped to teach it.”
Religious instruction in State Schools is optional and requires approval from parents for children to attend. Classes are restricted to a maximum of 1 hour per week.
In 2016, the NSW Education Department published an independent review of Special Religious Education in Government Schools. In this the Government highlighted how Religious Education positively contributes to students’ understanding of their cultural heritage, is an avenue for their spiritual care, builds tolerance in schools, promotes multiculturalism, contributes to a well-rounded education, and connects schools with their local community. These findings were not included in the Television story.
The Current Affair Poll is asking “Should religion be taught in State Schools?”
It is rare to find an opportunity for parents to say that they would like to keep scripture and religious education in their state schools, and this poll gives those parents a chance to vote.
Click here to have your say in the ACA Poll which closes on Saturday night 29th June, 2019.
About the author: Kim Wilkinson is a media and communications professional who specialises in building community and valuable relationships