SUGGESTING, as Barry Rainsford did in his letter of July 9, “Christian education has much to offer”, that Christian volunteers are needed in public schools to instil personal values such as honesty, compassion, respect and tolerance, is insulting to the trained and qualified teachers who work tirelessly to inspire exactly those qualities in their students.
Dividing a classroom up into different denominations for half an hour each week to colour in pictures of Noah’s ark is the antithesis of what our secular schools represent.
We would never divide children up into Labor and Liberal classes, but allow them to be segregated into Catholic, Protestant and Muslim classes?
Mr Rainsford assures that all volunteers are accredited by ACCESS Ministries, but fails to explain who, if anyone, accredits ACCESS Ministries.
A glowing testimonial from the local Imam or pastor doesn’t carry the same weight it once did.
The new requirement to opt-in to scripture classes simply brings CRE into line with other extra-curricular activities.
CRE providers seem to fear the change to an opt-in system, but surely they wouldn’t wish their child to be accidentally enrolled in a Muslim religious education class by default?
I do agree with Mr Rainsford, that a background knowledge of our Christian heritage is an essential part of an Australian child’s education, but feel that is surely better provided by a social studies/history curriculum than an evangelical program of Bible stories and Jesus-based activities.
Lemon Tree Passage