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Church’s appeal

PAWI leader warns against secular school curriculum

Don’t mess with religious education!

That was the forceful message from the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies (PAWI) to political scientist Tennyson Joseph who yesterday urged the Freundel Stuart administration to scrap religious education and replace the curriculum with an entirely secular one.

PAWI Bishop Gerry Seale said there could be major social fallout if Government accepts Joseph’s advice and scraps religious teaching.

“I would be extremely concerned about education that does not have a moral foundation,” Seale, whose organization has a following of 7,600 in 26 local assemblies, told Barbados TODAY.

“An entirely secular delivery of education without a moral foundation cannot be in the best interest of Barbados or any other country.”

Speaking yesterday during a session of the Barbados Senior Parliament at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, Joseph said a universally accepted secular curriculum would eradicate any conflicts which might exist for non-Christian members of this island’s increasingly diverse society.

The issue of home schooling was thrown into the national spotlight after a Rastafarian couple was brought before the court for refusing to send their children to school. In September Ijui Jah and his partner Isartes Ibre were found guilty of breaching Section 41 of the Education Act on the grounds that there was no record of the children attending formal classes.

The presidents of the island’s two major teachers unions – the Barbados Union of Teachers and the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union  – told Barbados TODAY they had not yet seen Joseph’s statement and would first have to familiarize themselves with it before commenting. Minister of Education Ronald Jones could not be reached for a comment.

10 Responses to Church’s appeal

  1. Joe Grind
    Joe Grind October 20, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Sorry but there’s a vast difference between morality and religion.. You don’t need religion to know or to act right from wrong. Religion is every thing that is wrong with this world.. It’s the biggest farce which mankind has sadly succumbed to. Being kind, loving and respectful and treating each other with dignity as a fellow human being has absolutely nothing to do with religion.. Actually I’ll go as far as to say, it is precisely because of religion why we no longer treat each other with respect as one humanity. Religion has divided and has driven a wedge between us. Each time someone of sound intellect make suggestions for the betterment of mankind these clerics and religious folk in fear of losing their weekly tithes, continue to poison us with their lies, deceit and farcical beliefs. When will we wake up?!

    Reply
  2. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva October 21, 2016 at 12:15 am
    Reply
  3. Demetrius Garrett
    Demetrius Garrett October 21, 2016 at 1:03 am

    So basically what the religious people are saying is that without religious education, children will become immoral? I’ll have to disagree on that.

    Reply
  4. Brien King
    Brien King October 21, 2016 at 2:30 am

    By not practicing GOD’S instructions for our lives, we obey others gods and powers on this earth that belongs to GOD, with the claim that we living life to suit us and to the fullest. Don’t be fooled, whether you believe it or not, you are a slave to others if you are not to GOD. I see many here that work against GOD and I find it funny.
    You own a house and you allow people to live in it and you set rules for them to follow as they continue to live in your house. But they refuse to obey your rules for living in your house, will you cast them out of your house for disobedience to your rules for your house or just left them in it until they destroy it and build another ?
    The answer to that question would shed light on what is about to occur here on this earth that belongs to GOD.

    Reply
  5. Hal Austin October 21, 2016 at 4:12 am

    The church has got nothing to worry about from Professor Joseph.
    First, politics is not a science. More importantly, if this is the head of department who wrote recently that there is one form of capitalism it shows the extent of his knowledge.
    No wonder UWI students are being miseducated.

    Reply
  6. Olutoye Walrond October 21, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Morality and religion may be related, but they can both exist, one without the other. We don’t need religion to live moral lives, and there are many who practise religion without morality.

    Public schools are, by definition secular institutions. They draw their students from all shades of religion beliefs. It is therefore going to be very difficult to prescribe a religious instruction that does not offend someone.

    When I was a primary school student they arbitrarily took us to an Anglican church once a week for a service. My parents were not members of that faith and the ceremony meant little to me. In fact I thought some of the rituals quite odd. But somebody thought THEIR particular faith was good for them and me too.

    Yes, children need moral guidance, and this can be achieved by values education. Values education will teach them how to treat their neighbour and conduct themselves as social beings.

    Reply
  7. allison archer October 21, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    The reverential fear of the Living God needs to be engraved in the hearts of man,
    man continue to fly in the face of the Source of Life and dare Him to accept their rebellious behaviour, finding every reason to justify why the bible is not God’s word given for us to obey

    the wisest man Solomon said because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Eccl 8:11

    Prov 22:15 says children are born into this world with foolishness bound up in their hearts therefore it is very critical that God’s word be instructed to them not primarily from primary school but from in the womb

    todays parents and guardians believe any god you choose to serve is acceptable by me, damning themselves and their charges to a life without hope and the Living God Eph 2:12, look around and you will see all the vice that is spewing forth at a rapid rate, look

    most times all God have to work with in a person is that religious education that was taught in school, please do not remove the teaching of Scripture in the public schools.

    Reply
  8. seagul October 21, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Jah Rasta is the most high, with respect to all other pluralisms.
    Truth Justice Love.

    Reply
  9. Hal Austin October 21, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Olutoye,

    When it com to educating young minds nothing should be off the table, not even studying the Bible.

    Reply
    • Olutoye Walrond October 21, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      Yes, Hal. And students of secondary schools already do comparative religion, which teaches them about the history and doctrine of the world major faiths.

      But I think what some religious people want is to have students engage in the saying of prayers and the singing of songs from a particular faith. That does not belong in a school. That is church.

      Reply

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