Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

Secular education


Following on from yesterday’s snippet on Pastafarian rights, I note the US state department comment on religion in NZ schools:

The law provides that “teaching in every state [public] primary school must, while the school is open, be entirely of a secular character.”  A public primary school may close, including during normal school hours, for up to one hour per week, up to a total of 20 hours per year, to devote to religious instruction or religious observance, to be conducted in a manner approved by the school’s board of trustees.  If a public primary school provides religious instruction or observes religious customs, it must allow students to opt out.  Religious instruction or observance, if provided, usually takes place outside normal school hours.

This has been the rule since the 1870s. It’s a pity that a few boards of trustees seem not to understand what closed means in this regards.

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

5 thoughts on “Secular education

  1. I should share this with the Ministry of Education here. Students should be allowed to opt out of religious observances they don’t want

    • But is education secular by law in Kenya?

      • The constitution says there shall be no state religion. In practice however, religion permeates almost all spheres of life. And there is the complexity brought about by different churches sponsoring schools

        • That there shall be no state religion does not preclude religious education, nor does it in itself mandate secular education in public schools.

          Strange as it might seem, in the 1870s it was the major Christian churches that pushed for a secular education system. It was for selfish reasons. None of them wanted another denomination to get a foothold to young minds. In other words, “If my denomination can’t have a monopoly on religious education, then by God, no-one will!”

          • The government has been unable to meet the demands of public education. So other players have room to meet the demand & faith schools, dating to the colonial days have met this gap. And so different school have different religious rules.

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