If I were to create a system of learning for schools, I wonder what I’d include? I’d keep all the basic subjects like English, Maths, Science, but if it were down to me I would like to make Religious Education part of the National Curriculum. As some people may already know, RE is not a part of our National Curriculum, but instead is brought into schools through their Local Authority.
For me, this diminishes the importance of RE. I may be biased, but I do believe that RE is very important – particularly in this day in age – and should be treated accordingly. There is so much prejudice in the world regarding other religions and cultures, and much of it stems from lack of understanding. I do not believe that there is a problem with teaching pupils about other religions, other than the ‘main’ one of the place they live; at the end of the day, I am not asking that they believe what I tell them, simply to endeavour to understand.
I don’t think that people should study RE simply because ‘it’s the law’. The study of RE will carry you through life, whatever you decide to do once you leave education. For example, if you want to have a career as a doctor, it is necessary to understand the religion of your patients, as it may effect the treatment they wish to have; if you want to be a chef, you will need to know about different foods that people of religions eat, for example, kosher or halal meat; even if you go travelling round the world, having knowledge of religions and cultures will help you remain respectful in wherever you end up. Also, as mentioned earlier, with everything going on in the world today, I feel that the young generations should be given a true account of the world’s religions. It is my wish, that with sound teaching, the future generations can put a stop to pointless hatred, prejudice and discrimination by having proper knowledge of world religions and being able to separate truth from radicalised ideas.
Having watched a video on the state of RE in schools, I do feel that if we are to continue with the teaching of the subject, we need to ensure that the people employed to teach the subject have the relevant knowledge and training to be able to teach RE in a suitable manner. Speaking from past experience, I have seen pupils being taught RE by teachers of whom RE is not their subject specialism. In order for RE to be taught properly, I feel that we need to have only those who specialise in the subject, and have the significant training, imparting their knowledge upon students. I hope that after recent findings about RE in schools, we can improve upon concerns, and move towards RE being as well taught as any other school subject.