There may be fewer religion classes in Australian schools now that public school principals in the nation have been given the authority to reject such courses.
According to the Herald Sun new guidelines indicate it’s at the principal’s discretion to allow or reject religion classes.
“Education Minister Martin Dixon has advised principals they can decide not to run the sessions if they don’t have enough resources to run them,” the Herald Sun reports.
A grassroots group of parents have helped spearhead the initiative actively seeking removal of religion classes in the government run schools. Fairness in Religions in Schools says that some 120,000 Victorian school children receive instruction in the Christian religion each week and are being indoctrinated with Christian values and not simply being instructed about various faiths.
The groups website states: “This is wrong. School is for learning through enquiry, not indoctrination.”
The Herald Sun reports that religious instruction has fallen 30 percent since the new guidelines have been put into place.
“I see this as a major victory for our campaign,’’ said Fairness in Religions in School campaign member Scott Hedges. “It clearly gives permission for principals to make a judgment call about practicality.”
Volunteers who receive little training, but are familiar with various religions and doctrines typically teach the religion classes.
“Instruction, however there are few schools that offer anything apart from Christian instruction, and children from minority religion families seldom – if ever – receive instruction in their religion,” states on the Fairness in Religions in Schools website.