What if, there had been full secular schooling…

Not sure I completely agree that France is the best example of secular schooling, since there is a significant Catholic sector there that does well out of parental dissatisfaction over the way enormous state Lycees and Colleges churn through correspondingly large numbers of students. But Beano believes not only that secular schooling is the way forward, but points out that in its early history, Northern Ireland attempted to roll out just such a project.

  • Pounder

    A rare occasion when I agree with Beano. Take religion out of school and a lot of the countries problems will leave with it. Religion should be a choice a person makes, not a class he or she is forced to attend.

  • BeardyBoy

    take state influence out of schools – what a childs education is is the right of parents not the state

  • Alan

    Teach religions and belief.

    Mix children of many faiths and none.

    Teach and treat with respect the politics of their parents.

    Thereafter, let the children choose their own path.

  • Dec

    What if, in the early years of Northern Ireland’s existence, someone had the foresight to realise that dividing our children and segregating them from each other was going to cause trouble down the line and breed fear and intolerance?

    What indeed? What if Unionists had actually listened to the majority opinion in Ireland and supported partition and not Independance. Sorry, but this notion that educational segregation (and make no bones about it, the CCMS is the real villain here, apparently) is a major cause of our problems is putting the cart before the horse somewhat. Anyone care to explain why England with it’s CoE and RC school system doesn’t explode in sectarian violence every other July.

    Sadly, Lord Londonderry seems to be another one of the people on the “If only we’d listened to them” list, up there with Terence O’Neill and Lord Carson.

    I propose Michael Collins, Arthur Griffiths, Padraig Pearse and James Connolly be added to that esteemed list.

  • Eric Blair

    Religions are opinions and so there is no excuse to keep it in the classroom. “Separate but equal” schooling was wrong in racist america and it is wrong here.

  • “Not sure I completely agree that France is the best example of secular schooling,”

    I’ll admit that while I admire it (the principle), I do so from a distance which means I wasn’t aware of the other problems in the education system. That said, I stand by the principle.

    Alan – I agree religions could be taught, but not as fact.

    “anyone care to explain why England with it’s CoE and RC school system doesn’t explode in sectarian violence every other July.”

    1) Most would attend mixed-religion schools
    2) They don’t carry the same baggage attached to their religion

    The list could go on, but it’s well past my bed time.

    “(and make no bones about it, the CCMS is the real villain here, apparently)”

    Erm – which part of “Unfortunately, not for the first time, Catholic and Protestant religious leaders found a way to work together (well, work separately against a common ‘enemy’ anyway) to destroy this idea.” did you need clarified? religious fundamentalists are the villain, regardless of which religion.

  • Mark

    “Teach religions and belief.”

    I would say teach religions NOT belief. As long as religion remains a force in the world, people need to learn what it’s all about, but what passes for religious ‘education’ at present is more like indoctrination. In my school we had a token term on Catholicism and a couple of weeks on Judaism

  • Mark

    … and nothing on anything else (clicked ‘submit a bit too soon there…). One class which particularly stands out in my memory consisted entirely of of passing around pictures of foetuses at various stages of development with a very clear message that they were essentially fully formed humans and anyone expressing an alternative opinion basically told to sit down. Still makes my blood boil that I had to sit through it, and don’t even get me started on assembly.