Teach all religions of the world in New Zealand schools!

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This petition is to lobby the Education Minister Nikki Kaye to amend the Education Act 1964 especially sections 78 and 78A and section 25A of the Education Act 1989. There are two changes that are needed:

1) The opt out clause should be  removed. This relates to Sections 78 and 78A that provide for schools to set aside one hour a week for religious instruction, with Section 79 allowing for students to opt out. 

               and

2) The teachings of all religions in state primary schools instead of Christianity, so that divison and segregation in classes don't arise amongst students.

These acts appear to be inconsistent with the Human Rights Act 1993. Such issues arise under sections 78 and 78A of the Education Act 1964, and section 25A of the Education Act 1989, "raise issues of discrimination on the grounds of religious belief". 

Religious Instruction currently takes place in around 40% of NZ state secular primary schools that by law are supposed to remain religiously neutral. The Issue is that only Christianity is being taught in state school where many children are moved to other classrooms due to their faith, morals or beliefs.  In schools where it is practised, Christian Religious Instruction (RI) is an opt-out system. The result is that children are segregated based on their or their parents’ – religious belief.  


The separation of children due to the Christian faith being taught divides. Schools should be a place where children regardless of their faith, ethnicity or gender should be a part of. Because of religious segregation, children are treated like outsiders in her own school. Many Religious Instruction programmes are run like stage shows: there is singing, dancing, games, lollies and cartoons, and any child who doesn’t attend would definitely feel that they are missing out. The programmes are targeted at very young children, usually starting between the ages of five and seven.

An active campaigning group, the Secular Education Network (SEN) believe that it  is time to stop the Christian monologue and open up an inter-faith dialogue which is inclusive of the non-religious. They believe that children need to have access to quality education about the world religions, beliefs and practices, because without knowledge there can be no understanding, and without understanding there can not be tolerance. Their argument is for the right to religious freedom, and the respect of other beliefs.

Please support this petition so that New Zealand children are able to choose their own spirtitual paths and have their own opinions on religions of the world.


 

 



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