Labour’s proposal to ditch religious education is more about ideology than a properly thought through policy to promote and improve science and mathematics education.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil Galway City East candidate Alan Cheevers, who is calling on Labour Galway West TD Derek Nolan to clarify his position on religious education in primary schools in Galway City. His call follows Education Minister Ruairí Quinn’s demand that the hours spent teaching religion in schools be cut, and that greater emphasis and time needs to be spent on maths and science.
Mr Cheevers said Minister Quinn’s stance was “unhelpful, uninformed and unwelcome” and that they also showed “contempt for parental choice”. He added that “there are a wide variety of social benefits to religious education” as it helps “prepare children for the spiritual and emotional challenges that life presents”.
“Regardless of one’s faith the teaching time available currently for religion makes a critical contribution in this regard,” he said.
Mr Cheevers went on to accuse the Government of “showing disregard” for the social benefits of education through it’s decision to “scrap guidance counsellors at secondary level”.
However, in response to the controversy, Minister Quinn told RTÉ on Sunday that “you cannot be properly educated without having an understanding of religion, and the force that it is, and the power that it is, worldwide”.