Article from the Irish Examiner can be found here.
Bullet points-:While transfers are under consideration by bishops, the group appointed last year by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has gone furthest in its recommendations in relation to schools in areas where new patronage options are unlikely for families.
There are about 1,700 such standalone schools outside urban areas, where the nearest school is about 3km away. In order to make these schools more inclusive to a diversifying population, the group recommends:
* Changes to education law to place responsibility on school boards to uphold the rights of children and parents with regard to denominational religious education and faith formation;
* Consideration to amend equality law that allows a school give preference to children of a particular faith, or refuse enrolment to those who do not belong to the school’s denomination;
* Removal of a rule that refers to religion as the most important subject in the primary school curriculum;
* Schools helping to accommodate children opting out of denominational religious teaching or faith formation;
* Ongoing discussions with parents and clergy about the parish role in sacramental preparation.
“The advisory group recommends that sacramental preparation, or education for religious rites or other belief systems, should not encroach on the time allocated for the general curriculum,” its report says.
Before anyone starts giving out to me, yes Irish is our national language and it would be nice if we could all speak it, but the majority of us can’t and following the current teaching model, most kids won’t. It’s dull, difficult, rarely used IN Ireland and not used at all outside of the country. It is a cultural sinkhole. We throw money at it, and it swallows it whole.
Religion, well I’ve no time for religion one way or another, but if there must be class designated to it, why not a single weekly class, discussing world religions. That might be useful. I’d underpin that with a discussion on ethics and civics and how to be a good person without believing in a deity at all. I’d allow for critical thinking. I would certainly, CERTAINLY!, stop telling lies to children about farking arks, talking snakes and a 7 day world build. Creationism rots even adult minds, you’d hardly want to inflict that on the mind of a child. Even listening to the kids on Newstalk this morning, waffling on about a risen Jesus, made my eyes roll clear to the back of my head. They’re parroting back a story they been drip fed for most of their lives; it’s a truly sad state of affairs.
If parents want their children to be involved in a particular religion let them do so on their own time; Indeed! That would be a true show of faith would it not? They could make it an inclusive activity, send children to a Sunday school, bring them to mass, discus the bible with them, whatever they deem important. Wouldn’t that makes more sense? Wouldn’t that show an interest? Instead of the usual lazy platitudes, why not actively involve themselves in their religion. Wouldn’t that be the most sensible thing?
Anyhoo, t’will be interesting to see how this pans out over the next while. A la carte catholics, of which there are legion in this country, will be sniping and snapping on various forums, David Quinn will be banging his victim drum and property prices will drop another few thousand as we circle the drain. Bon bloody chance mon amis, bon bloody chance.