Religion In Schools
The call for religion to be removed from being taught in schools unfortunately heard at least one pastor agreeing to the idea which came from a university lecturer.
Sadly, the importance of religion to be understood by children and taught by persons who may have had some instructions on the subject while in college, seemed to have ‘by pass’ the thinking of these individuals.
Religion weaves itself into the fabric of our lives, regardless of whether or not someone adheres to a particular faith and it is closely linked to the cultures of a society. The different religions call for different ceremonies and rules but there are some common moral values such as truthfulness, honesty, not to steal, not to covet and respect that form the bases of most religions.
With an expanding global community and with religions such as Hinduism and Islam on the rise in Barbados, children are meeting other children with various religious beliefs and the lack of exposure to religions can sometimes make it awkward for children and has at times caused children to bully, tease and mock other children with different beliefs.
Teaching religion to children in school will not only bring about religious tolerance but a wealth of knowledge as religion also plays a role in history, literature and current events. Through religion children can learn about major figures such as the Dali Lama, Budha and Haile Selassie, major holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, Diwali and Hanukkah and they can better understand what is going on around them and in the world.
Including religion in the school system is important as the school is the place where one is supposed to receive instructions in education and it is the one place that you will find the largest percent of children at any one time.
To leave religion to be taught at church is risky as all children do not go to church and most churches or religious institutions will teach what they believe and this is sometimes done by Sunday School teachers whose limited knowledge of religion is all that they can transfer.
This therefore puts children at risk of missing out on important religious teachings which is needed to help them make informed decisions later in life.
Instead of trying to cut religion from schools, it would be a good idea to widen the religious syllabus to include the teachings of all religions.