RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS

 

Parents and the church are primarily responsible for children’s religious education.  Religious instruction / religious observances at school level should be based on the following departure points:

 

  -  Schools have the right to retain a certain ethos in terms of the Schools Act.

  -  Schools have a deeply rooted religious character that they would not like to give up. 
     Historically disadvantaged communities particularly feel very strongly about his.  A
     comprehensive study in Northwest has shown that 98% of schools prefer a religious
     angle.

  -  International trends indicated that religious instruction is done from a specific religious
     conviction, while learners reserve the right to withdraw from such lesson.

  -  Religious instruction / religious observances on school terrains are not in conflict with
     the Constitution.

 

In the light of the above, the NP is of the opinion that although religious instruction / religious observances must preferably reflect the school’s ethos, it must be left up to the parents and governing bodies of public schools to decide which form it should take on, provided that the Constitution must be adhered to at all times.

 

If religious instruction / religious observances takes place from a certain angle, which concurs with the school’s ethos, no learner may be forced to participate.  In the case of a comparative study between religions, as prescribed by the new curriculum, such comparison should be presented from the angle reflected by the school’s ethos.  Furthermore, a comparative study between religions must only be done when the learner’s own religious convictions have been established.

 

Under all circumstances, the religious views of all learners must be respected and there may not be discriminated against any learner on the basis of religion.  The State’s function with regard to religion is limited to ensuring that the provisions of the Constitution about religious freedom are adhered to.

  

 

 

 

 

 
 

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