Abolishment of Religious Activities in the Philippine Public School System
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Presently, Christianity/Roman Catholicism continues to be the majority religion in the Philippines. 80.58% of the total Filipino population belongs to this sect, so it's not a surprise that this religion dominates and affects our way of living. However, being dominant is not good at all times as it has a tendency to intimidate, or worst, to discriminate others.
I'd like to share a story of a young Muslim boy in our school. One morning, the class where this boy belong has been temporarily transferred to our class because their teacher was not around. Our teacher, who's a Christian/Roman Catholic, started the day with a morning prayer. Everyone was expected to stand up, but the boy didn't. Our teacher felt disrespected and asked why he didn't stand up. He and his classmates explained that he's a Muslim. Our teacher angrily reprimanded and commanded the boy to stand up, pay respect, and participate to the morning prayer.
As Christian, it may not be a big deal as I felt the same way. I thought, how hard it is to just stand up and participate? However, as the years goes by, I realized that I'm being stupid and the boy was the real victim. He was disrespected and humiliated. He was reprimanded for following his own religion! His own belief was insulted! Although, the only reason why he's there is to learn, not to pray. He's there for education, not religion!
Aside from this, we also had a subject called "Christian living" which is being taught every year from Elementary to High School. A nun or a church representative will come to our school and teach Catholicism. Non-Christians/non-Catholics are being asked to leave the room, giving them a free/dead hour which can be used to extend a math or science class to learn relevant things (I wonder how my non-Christian/Catholic classmates had been graded, since this subject is actually included in our report card). These church representatives are also coordinating with the school administration to conduct masses, first communion rehearsals, confirmations, confessions, and Christian-based retreats/recollection. These practices caused my non-Catholics/non-Christians classmates to be left out, since they cannot participate in these ceremonies. In worst cases, they are being required to come, even if it's against their beliefs.
These inspired me to create this campaign and reach out to our government to consider ABOLISHING ALL RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES IN THE PHILIPPINE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM! Seriously, this has to stop! The Philippine public school is open for anyone, Christians and non-Christians, everybody should respect each own beliefs. I would like to highlight one of the comments on this petition, "public schools are part of the government and MUST REMAIN SECULAR, our tax-funded public schools shouldn't promote and endorse any religion."
I'd like our government to make an action regarding this issue in any way they can. My main goal here is for the public schools to focus on what they are meant to do, which is to teach the students academics, hone their skills and talents, not to teach what they need to believe in. I believe that all religious activities and ceremonies, should be held in their respective churches, not in public schools. Parents should be the one responsible for coordinating with their church for religious activities, not the school.
THE PHILIPPINE PUBLIC SCHOOL IS FOR EVERYONE!
Disclaimer: My campaign is for the abolishment of religious activities in PUBLIC SCHOOLS ONLY. It doesn't include religious activities conducted in church-run schools.
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