This is fantastic news. It’s about time there was something better for the non-scripture kids to do than go to the library and twiddle their thumbs.
When my oldest first started school I hadn’t quite given up on the church, I’d long since moved away from any belief in god but I still saw value in the ethical teaching and the community that a church fosters. So off he went to Scripture classes, as did most of his classmates. It wasn’t long before I was rather regretting that decision as I found myself dealing with the some of the less-nuanced ideas that came home from the classes. I console myself with the thought that at least he’ll be well equipped to understand any biblical allusions if he ever ends up reading various classic novels and poetry. My other 2 have also gone to Scripture classes and I freely admit it’s because it was easier to go with the flow and let them be with their friends. Especially as the alternative was so unsatisfactory.
Every so often I offer my kids the option of not going to Scripture class, none of them have taken me up on it, they’d rather stay with their friends and sit through lessons about things they do not believe than be bored. If something like these proposed ethics classes were available at all schools, not only would I jump at it now, I’d have been thrilled to enroll the kids in them way back in Kindergarten.
ETHICS classes will be introduced in NSW schools, offering an alternative to religious studies for the first time in 100 years, the Premier, Nathan Rees, will announce today.
The St James Ethics Centre has been working very hard for some time to get this project up and running. “Towards an ethics-based complement to scripture in NSW primary schools” gives an overview of the issues involved and of the proposals being considered.
I am so very pleased to see this trial getting the go-ahead and I will be presenting information about it to our next P&C meeting at school. I only wish there were to be more than 10 schools involved in the trial. Ah well, teaspoons. Hopefully it will be a huge success and we’ll see further progress in the near future.