Religion in schools

To add to the debate at As you might know I work at schools and took a few pictures. This was at 3 different schools in one week.

“Kennis deur geloof”

Talk about fucked up ???

This is certainly the bloody antithesis of what we should be teaching our kids!

That, in a nutshell, is why schools should be teaching the historical, social and cultural significance of various religions and not be promoting them as any kind of truth. Children get more than enough of that at home and at their places of worship. It is rather unlikely that churches, mosques, etc. would agree to hosting introductory classes for young ones in principles of secular humanism, cosmogony, epistemology, and so on, so why should schools agree to foist religion on youngsters? Other parts of the syllabus are not open to the dictates and wishes of parents or school governing bodies so why should religious instruction be allowed a special dispensation? And how will a school guard against the inevitable marginalising and ostracism of minorities by the majority based purely on respective creeds, an effect that could do much harm?

Schools are supposed to equip youngsters with sufficiently acute critical faculties and for this aim, religious practices, engaged in as truth, are counterproductive. They have no place in schools. None whatsoever.


He says that, in reality, schools use teaching time to promote one religion over another by, for example, praying to a particular god during a lesson or sticking only Bible verses on classroom walls.

Some days I wish so I’d wisened up to religion earlier. Oh how I would enjoy sticking some of my own bible verses up on the walls.

Religion in Schools – The debate is far from over.


My son’s schedule for next year included “Spiritual Development”. I threw a vloermoer and he now has extra math instead. ;D

While policies set by School Governing Bodies (SGBs) should not amount to coercion of minority groups, would a blanket banning of all religious activities from a school not amount to coercion of learners belonging a majority religious persuasion at any particular school?

Isn’t this a vast over-reaction? I believe the only thing that is being pointed out is that minorities ARE coerced in public schools to observe religious practices. And hence the problem. If such things are voluntary, I don’t think there would be an issue. I don’t recall prof. Claassen saying he wanted to “blanket ban” anything.


Of course it is, but religionists are not known for their cool, rational, consequent reasoning abilities. They want to have their manna and eat it, too. The cheeky presumption is that it’s okay to have religious indoctri…, I mean instruction at school (it makes young people better persons, you see) but not the flipside thereof, for example evolution classes in church. Moreover, they conveniently choose to overlook the fact that one or other religion is already pumped at church and in most homes for years before children even see the inside of a school.

The only acceptable modus is to offer comparative religious studies – i.e. religions as cultural, social and historical phenomena rather than as The Real Truth©.


I do agree that religion is an additional subject in school…

Ground womb?

could be :wink: but really “tantrum”

Afrikaans is oulik beskrywend.

It is important that we distinguish clearly between religious studies, as in a subject, and religious observance, where a deity is being revered and prayed to.

If religious studies is to be taught as a subject, then the subject matter should be compiled by the Department of Education, and should fairly cover the significant religions, what their history and tenets are, etc. It is not the task of school governing bodies to formulate curriculum.

Ideally, religious observance should not occur at government schools whatsoever. As a compromise one might consider allowing religious observance at the school, but not during school hours. The pupils who wish to partake, can then come to school a bit earlier or stay a bit later. That should quickly establish how serious they are about it.

The reality is the majority of parents don’t want religious observance to be “optional” in the school. For most afrikaans schools I’ve seen around, including the one I attended, “Christian education” is a very important selling point, and one that most parents would ask about. In fact, I think any afrikaans school not selling their “Christian” merit would soon run dry.

“PU vir CHO”: Potchefstroom Universiteit vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys.

I think that makes the point quite clearly.

Such attitudes once prevailed in many countries where religious observance has since been abolished in public schools.

The mere fact that the debate is taking place is already a step forward.

Correct! Tantrum it is.

My youngest’s school only teach about the xtian god in their religious studies.

My eldest though (high school), receive a more wholistic curriculum and have a different demonation every week stating their case for their particular deity. He got chucked out of his religious study period last year because he started asking (the same) ackward questions to each of the “leaders” and insisted on answers which they couldnt provide - they all complained and my son got himself excused from the period (fortunately both the boys enjoy math).

One of the questions I remember was related to the gender of a soul, and if a soul should be genderless, why should women be subservient as a female soul is equal to a males. Good boy. Proud of that one.

… and how quick they are to abandon one of “God’s” children should he think too much. True love that is.

Yes, the poor lad is doomed to hell, I comforted him by assuring him I’ll help him with his shovel as I’m doomed to burn too.

He was considered inciteful as well, being 17 and having an edge over an adult resulted in the majority of his friends pouring over their bibles to find things to challenge the poor sods that came to teach them. It became a huge game with a tally being kept as to who could outwit the teacher the most. This year its offered as an optional and the kids may attend or not as they feel. Much better.

agreed - but is it a big enough step? I mean, a really lot of people have been talking about the supposed merits and/or drawbacks of a religious upbringing for many years now. I think everyone who participates on this forum should know by now that a religious nut is not capable of having this discussion. (‘the bible says so’, or ‘god left me a post-it’ seems to be popular counter-arguments.

Faerie I really like your children - they remind me of myself, only i was part of the generation who got a good beating when i rocked the proverbial boat - happy that at least that is not so anymore.

I rather like them too! ;D

I was also part of the generation that received good beatings, and hence was a horribly rebellious teen. Probably why I’m so liberal in the upbringing of my kids. I think our generation were still in the trappings of children should be seen and not heard, I was adamant not to do that with my kids, also the reason my kids are bought up English and not Afrikaans - the Afrikaner Culture is generally way too conservative.