Religion and Secular Clause

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The education act of 1877 has had a lasting impact on New Zealand education. Its underlying features of free; compulsory and secular meant that New Zealander’s got equal opportunities. This essay will analyse the secular clause and its ongoing impact. It is important to understand the intended intentions of the act towards secularism. In doing so, it will examine the two key factors modernism and the Irish question which underpin secularism. Both of these factors will make us understand the notion of ‘choice’ and the ongoing debates on secularism. In order to understand the significance of the 1877 education act and its impact, it is just as important to view the issues that led to its establishment. So, prior to the 1877 education act, the education system was a fragmented one. The underdeveloped conditions of the time derived New Zealand to focus on the political and economical spheres rather than education. Therefore, most schools established at the time were mainly private or voluntarily run; or by the churches (missionaries), (Stephenson, M. (2009). The provinces established in the constitution act 1852 provided for education in their own terms. So provinces such as Canterbury, Otago and Christchurch in the south island that were booming in economy due to gold and wool export at the time, were able to accommodate better education, facilities and resources for the children (Stephenson, M. (2009). Hence, such schools were mainly run by the ‘elite’ and the ‘middleclass’. However the provinces in the north island such as Auckland, Hamilton had poor economy, so no proper schooling infrastructure, facilities or resources were provided to children. Church and some middle classes accommodated for the poor children. Hence, one can make the conclusion that education varied across New Zealand provided that it was based on hierarchies (Stephenson, (2009), differing the type of education children got. Missionary schools of the early 1816 are also an aspect that...
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