Anglican Samizdat

February 3, 2009

And for third period we have double deforestation

Filed under: The fall of the West — David Jenkins @ 11:59 am

When I had to take RE (Religious Education) in school, it was a welcome opportunity for a half-hour nap. Now, politicians are threatening to take all that way: the new RE courses will be so profoundly annoying that lethargic students will be too irritated to sleep. Where has the compassion gone in the British school system?

From the Telegraph:

Instead of concentrating on the Bible and the holy books and tenets of other major religions, a significant part of the course is tied to citizenship and personal, social and health education.

Academics claim, however, that the syllabus, to be taught from September, had turned a serious subject in to a “pat qualification for political correctness”.

One of the topics covered is religion and relationships, which will teach pupils about homosexuality, religious attitudes to contraception and the concept and role of parenting.

Another topic is “religion, sport and leisure”. Pupils will study “religious attitudes towards the purpose use and importance of leisure; types and purposes of relaxation, e.g stress relief and the misuse of leisure time, e.g binge drinking.”

In a sample exam paper pupils are asked, under the heading of religion and planet earth, “what is conservation?” and “is recycling good stewardship”. Teenager must also give two reasons why many religious believers are against deforestation.

A second paper asks candidates to name two illegal drugs, give three reasons why some people take illegal drugs and to explain the attitudes of religious believers to smoking tobacco.

“I think it comes from the desire of politicians to stamp their influence on everything. It looks as if they are turning RE in to a pat qualification for political correctness.

Religious studies is a popular GCSE. Year on year increases have seen the number of entries rise to more than 171,000, up from 147,000 in 2006.

The evidence for the soporific effect of RE is in that last sentence above. Alas, no more: the gentle rhythm of snoring to the Psalms is to be replaced with the grating dissonance of contraception and deforestation. How are students to recover from all the binge drinking?


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