June 14, 2004
David Aaronovitch: ''Religion and education don't mix''

The Observer is liberal newspaper The Guardian's excellent Sunday newspaper. Yesterday's issue has a commentary by David Aaronovitch entitled Find faith in diversity, subtitled "Religion and education don't mix. Denominational schools are simply indoctrinating kids", definitely a readable commentary to the never-ending debate here in UK on private versus state-owned schools, faith versus non-faith schools etc.

[...] I don't blame faiths for the greatest ills of the world, since neither Adolf nor Joseph led religious movements; I don't see how you can have state-funded church schools or Jewish schools and deny the same rights to Muslims; I can understand that it is better to have regulated denominational schools than watch all religious instruction be carried out by untrained teachers in madrassas, yeshivas or Sunday schools;

[...]

People whose beliefs are not religious-based do not require (and could not get) state funding for their own schools, so we do not have socialist schools, conservative schools or ecological schools. The trick would be to get a genuine discussion in all schools about culture, ethics, politics and citizenship, a discussion founded in respect for other views. [...]

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