With Australian children returning to school for 2015 over the last couple of weeks, the issue of religious education in public state schools has reared yet again. An online poll was set up by the ABC’s Vote Compass where approximately 69 000 people expressed their opinion on whether religious education should be part of the Australian State school curriculum. Results for the different states were contrasting, however the media chose to focus on the result from Queensland where it was indicated that 46% of participants believe it should remain. While these polls may assist with understanding public attitudes and trends, they cannot be relied upon as an integral or truthful representation. I was not even aware of the poll until I heard the results over the radio.
I feel quite strongly about this issue and so do many parents and educators and a serious discussion needs to happen, not just a yearly random poll and a whole lot of to-ing and fro-ing with letters to the editor and comments on news blogs. Having two children currently attending a secular state primary school in Queensland, I believe that this issue could not only be less problematic, but fairer for all, and a true reflection of democracy, if all Australian state secular schools ousted Religious Education taught by church volunteers and left it up to the parents and faith communities to provide religious instruction. Continue reading “Religious Education in Australian State Schools by Jassy Watson”