Apparently the state government has decided that having Special Religious Education (SRI) wastes valuable education time and has decided that if schools want it, they will have to move the class to lunch times or after school hours, to make way for more ethical classes that actually teach genuine secular ethics.
This is a fantastic move for the Andrews government and both the Teachers Union and Humanist Society of Victoria is very happy with such an open minded decision by the state, for the benefit of a better education for students in the public school system.
Yes, the conservative, numbskull opposition is alarmed by this.
But, they should get over it, Or will they??
I think such a progressive move should be complimented by Humanists around the world.
It's a great step forward for the education of our students.
A Big YAY, for the Victorian Government of Australia!
Or It's about Bloody Time! :-D
Hope The Andrews Team, Keep Up The Great Work and Don't Buckle Under Pressure from the opposition.
That is the kind of promise that deserved to be broken!
Christianity has been a benefit to society.
In what way can a superstitious creed benefit a 21st century society? There has to come a time when reality is stated pure and simple as real and anything imagined as unreal. Too many deluded people are allowed to cloud reality with a metaphysical explanation for outrageous ideas which go far beyond the ability of the human intellect, and these fools are oh so often at the heads of government.
If a human being hasn't the intellectual insight to distinguish between reality and illusion, then they surely are not qualified for public service in any capacity.
I think that is the point of the policy, put superstitious ideology out of school hours and leave school time to teach a broad range of ethics and about superstitious beliefs.
I know the Victorian Humanists have prepared a syllabus for general religious education that teaches the differences between religious ideologies in a way that a child can understand.
I don't know yet if this has been adopted, but the teachers appear keen to teach such a topic to immunize students against religious deception.
Essentially they need to build a class of Rational Critical Thinking about Ethics and Beliefs.
This is our hope and it appears to be happening.
It's all good, so far!
They took this bold step and it is the right step. Other countries should sit up and take notice because religion should never be taught in public schools. Take that stuff ot your private schools or your churches.
Though I actually expected Britain to beat us in this.
It appears that there was not only pressure from secular groups, but also from other religions, since the majority of religion being pushed into schools was Christian and we are trying to present our public schools as catering for all religions, without bias.
So it is also a move to show an unbiased approach to beliefs.
The Christians in our country don't know how to think. They want Jesus and Christianity taught in public schools and say they have a right to do this. Secular people do not agree. Assume for a moment that the Christians win this battle. There would be little cheering. To put religion into public schools you would have to include all religions. That makes the Christians a minority and every religion gets its 5 minutes of time. This would happen in order to be fair and would happen because there is not enough time to teach the religions, just time to tell you what each is about. The schools would then go about teaching a normal education. Religion is then slanted for church or private schooling again. It doesn't belong in a secular classroom but might get an honorable mention.
I've heard that the subject to replace SRI is really just how to be good to one-another,
so basically it is a Secular Ethics class to help curb such things as bullying and bigotry among students.
Essentially, how to be great little citizens.
Religion and beliefs will get a fair, but cursory coverage.
Though the objective is more about making children understand each other better.
Religion tried, but tends to introduce its own bigotry instead.
Some of the pressure for this decision came from the Muslim and Hindu faiths, who have a lot of students attending public schools.
It was so wrong to push Christianity in schools trying to cater equally for all beliefs.
It's time America snapped out of the 18th Century and realized the world is changing and a truly secular school system shouldn't tolerate one faith pushing itself strongly as the greatest, when in fact, it never was.
Here is a link to a group calling themselves "Fairness In Religions In Schools".
I actually totally agree with their mandates.
It is such fairness that has the Andrews government withdrawing Special Religious Instruction from schools.
Here is what SRI is being replaced with:
The Victorian Labor Government announced last week that it will be removing the Special Religious Instruction (SRI) classes from class time next year and replacing them with “new content on world histories, cultures, faith and ethics”.
The compulsory curriculum for primary and secondary schools will also include classes on domestic violence and respectful relationships."
Source: Woman's Agenda
Here is the case for Special Religious Instruction made by Access Ministries, who control SRI in Victoria.
The fallacies in their reasoning for including SRI in schools are numerous.
Truth being, SRI is entirely dominated by Christianity.
Other faiths rarely get a look in.
Here is what the Humanist Society of Victoria (of which I am a member) has to say about banning SRI in Victorian public schools.
Something we have been pushing for a very long time, since the inception of the HSV.