Does faith have a place in education?
Faith is a right. We are all entitled to our own beliefs, but does this mean we should force our children, our future to take up yesterday’s beliefs? We are living in increasingly modern world; and is it right to put thoughts in our children’s minds? Shouldn’t they be able to form their own views? Or is it that we are giving them valuable knowledge to boost their start to life. People are allowed to teach their children what they want, but should this be brought into the classroom? The question here is should faith schools be allowed?
Faith schools make our children into beings of wrong and right, black and white. Religious teachings maybe open to interpretation but the fact of the matter is that faith schools suppress information. Think about that for a moment; in this world where the ubiquitous belief is that knowledge is power. That great power is being kept from these children, they are deprived of basic life education. Important topics like alcohol and drugs are taboo in most of these schools.
Parents send their children here in the hopes that they would be imbibed with the cultural values and teachings it takes other children years to cultivate too. And this is a very valid reason but it does have its flaws. But before we look at those flaws, we have to ask ourselves: why do faith schools appeal to so many?
Faith schools have changed the conventional model of learning, with religious studies lessons switched for prayers, a morning chapel or spiritual assembly and so on. They regularly top the tables in almost every area, this is because they are selective. They put likeminded people together, and they often have great pastoral care. Faith schools are often focused on passing down traditional values. This ensures the child has an appreciation for religion and culture, but is that towards all cultures?
Faith schools have been exposed to a lot of pad publicity recently. Most of it stemming from the so called Trojan horse plot. This plot, allegedly originating from letter detailing plans to wrest control of a school. This letter written by Islamists, was very controversial and portrayed faith schools in a very bad light. The head of Park view academy, Tahir Alam, wrote a 72 page document to the Muslim Council of Britain detailing a blueprint for the ‘Islamisation’ of secular state schools. This made all faith schools look like horrible places, run by sly individuals with ulterior motives. And that is simply not true, the plot in Birmingham was one case and cannot be taken as what every faith school in Britain is like.
So we have seen a few of the opinions, and the source of the giant controversy. But back to the question- well faith seems to currently hold a pretty stable place in education; however is it warranted? In my opinion- no. They cause unnecessary divide in the community and don’t allow children to make their own views and meet other people with differing views of huge topics such as abortion. So faith schools I believe that in their current form, they don’t belong in our education system; but maybe in the future we will find a way of integrating them and the wider community.