Friday, 18 May 2007

Religion, education, money, and fairness...

Watched The Agenda again tonight. It was one of those episodes that had me almost yelling at the TV! LOL It was about the fairness of publicly funding, in full, the Catholic schools in Ontario. Two Catholic representatives and the CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress "argued" for inclusion of others faiths in this funding, and two other panelists on the side of having only one school system. I have to agree with having only one school system, for several reasons:
  1. As the show asked and everyone there answered, there is an unfairness to having one belief system's education funded by our tax dollars, and all others given little or nothing. There are only two ways of resolving this: fund all equally (and I wrote about this at length on The Agenda's blog entry for this part of the show) or fund nothing but the non-religious public system.
  2. As was also mentioned on the show, have separate schools, can only result in segregation and increased cultural mistrust and misunderstanding. Prejudice exists, in my mind, mainly due to lack of understanding and therefore wild assumptions and therefore fear and hatred. Although the gentleman from the London District Catholic School Board pointed out that religious schools regularly teach about other cultures and about tolerance and understanding, the only real way to see the similarities between us and respect the differences is to experience them. All the reading and teaching in the world can't make up for two culturally different children giggling behind the teacher's back together, sharing their lunches together, or eating paste together! LOL
  3. And finally, my reason for many important things: why is it necessary at all? I don't see why Catholicism would need to teach their children math in the "Catholic way". Is Jewish science better than Buddhist science? Do Hindus believe history is fundamentally different than Muslims? Perhaps in interpretation yes, but in terms of facts, no. Yes, these different interpretations and viewpoints ought to be taught, but not to the exclusion of all other interpretations and viewpoints. In fact, that's probably the most important reason to teach about interpretations and viewpoints of certain facts, so that children learn that different ones exist.
If there's a problem with the public system, fix it. Don't run away and make your own. Come, join us. We need everyone's input and talent.

Now, I KNOW you've all got comments (or questions or cheers or hate mail) on this topic... Bring 'em on! LOL

1 comment:

Jenn B said...

I think that it would be really not right (for lack of a better term) to have public tax dollars fun religious schools. Why? Because does any of the money that gets paid to the catholic school board end up getting sent to the public schools? Of course not. I think that's the first thing that jumped into my head...they already get money from people who support the catholic school board with their taxes...why do they also need mine?

I'm a firm believer that schools aren't the place for religion anyways (other than a class about religion that teaches all religions). I don't plan to send my children to a catholic school...they don't need that sort of brain-washing there thanks!

I agree with your point three...math is math.