Primary school principals shut down religious education classes

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With a headline like that, how could I resist?

I believe the appropriate response is woo-hoo!

After some years of fairly negative news on the  RI in schools front, and the apparent stagnation of any efforts to expose the idiocy of spending public money on proselytising to primary school children, we have this welcome development, as reported here.

Some primary school principals are actually taking a stand, based on their own assessment of the SRI curriculum. This curriculum is being provided by Access Ministries, of which I’ve written plenty, for example, here, here and here. And it’s not just one or two – it’s hundreds apparently. The figures are that in 2011, 940 schools delivered SRI, while in 2013 it was 666 (yes, I know, the number of the beast – a coincidence? I think not). This is 40,000 fewer kids protected from wasting time on mindless drivel, and more importantly, protected from attempts to disable their clear-thinking circuitry.

Joe Kelly, principal of Cranbourne South Primary School, said:

“It is not education. It has no value whatsoever. It is rubbish – hollow and empty rhetoric … My school teachers are committed to teaching children, not indoctrinating them.”

Wow. Beautifully said Joe. I’m going to put that on a t-shirt. And nominate you for a Nobel prize of some sort.

He also went on to reveal that a lot of his colleagues feel the same way, but were not comfortable being as public about it.

Dr David Zyngier, a senior lecturer in curriculum and pedagogy at Monash University, backed up Kelly’s view of the curriculum, saying:

“I have reviewed all six booklets produced by Access Ministries, and it’s basically low order, unintelligent, busy work and rote learning. It horrified me. There’s nothing educational about it. It’s all about becoming a disciple of Jesus.”

Somewhat surprisingly, at this stage there does not seem to have been a backlash of any sort. Parents certainly aren’t in revolt. The Education Minister was quoted as having full confidence in the principals, and even the CEO of Access Ministries seems unperturbed. Those are the public positions – I’ll bet there is some heavy-duty lobbying happening behind the scenes however.

Nope, no backlash at all – although it could be a good explanation for some of the extreme weather events around the planet, as god extracts his special brand of biblical retribution. After all, what other explanation could there be?

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