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Schools must practise religious tolerance

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th November 2009 03:00 AM

THE presence of religious education in the school curriculum proves the central place religion holds. An ideal education takes a holistic approach that trains the head, the hands and the heart. Although the prescribed curriculum plays a critical role, the

THE presence of religious education in the school curriculum proves the central place religion holds. An ideal education takes a holistic approach that trains the head, the hands and the heart. Although the prescribed curriculum plays a critical role, the

FROM THE EDITOR

THE presence of religious education in the school curriculum proves the central place religion holds. An ideal education takes a holistic approach that trains the head, the hands and the heart. Although the prescribed curriculum plays a critical role, the school environment in which the education is provided shapes the child uniquely. Religious education is, therefore, important in instilling morals, observing ethical standards of behaviour and grooming a person who can fit into society.

Religious education as a subject is different from the spiritual faith-based religion. Schools need to understand the critical difference between teaching religion and teaching about religion. While it is permissible for schools to teach about religion as prescribed in the education curriculum, the education ministry warns against any form of indoctrination. The ministry looks at school as a social sanctuary where every child should feel accepted and respected.

In spite of the ministry’s recommendation, religious tolerance is still a challenge in some schools that are affiliated to certain religious beliefs. Whereas the education ministry has well set policies, some schools exploit supervision loophole to bend rules. School proprietors need to appreciate that the students belong to the public even if the school is private.

Important as it is, religious freedom in schools should be exercised within set regulations. Faith is a sensitive issue that students might stretch out of proportion if unregulated. Schools are educational institutions where learning must take the first priority.

Schools must practise religious tolerance

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