Schools are becoming more and more diverse as the years go past, more students come from different backgrounds and practice different religions therefore it is vital that all schools, regardless whether they are Catholic or not, adjust to this and teach Religious Education.
47% of students actively practice their religion in schools, around 23% of those students report being bullied because of their religion or faith. Now that figure will only be increasing if schools don’t become flexible and allow all students to practice a religion of their choice during the school day.
Everyone has the right to practice their religion no matter where they are, each school should have a prayer room, banning religion from schools is unconstitutional to those students who want to practice and pray during the school day. For those pupils, schools should be aiding them in consolidating their beliefs and making it easier for those students to practice their religion freely, not making it harder for them to express their faith and grow in it.
This isn’t to say that every school should impose a certain religion onto its pupils, but simply, give them the opportunity to discover religions, gain knowledge and decide for themselves. Non-Catholic schools should also include religious education into their curriculum because it will help them instill morals and a sense of harmony and acceptance into the students. Mass doesn’t have to be practised in non-Cathlic schools because there is a reason why parents chose to send their children there, so that they do not have to participate in mass and participate in religious practices. Regardless, learning about faith in classrooms wont harm them, it will only make them more rounded, open-minded individuals and so it should be incorporated.
Schools are tackling huge issues in recent years, topics such as rape, racism, war, immigration etc. teaching religion will help students deal with those issues, it will teach them to be open minded and understanding, therefore it is hugely important for Non-Catholic schools too.
The Census for England has released staggering figures in 2011 in regards to religion. A massive 59.3% of UK’s population were Christians, that is 33.2 million people! Muslims were the next largest religious group, 4.8% of UK’s population equaling to 2.7 million people. It is therefore unarguable that schools should teach religion as part of their curriculum.
According to the BBC article ‘Is the UK still a Christian country?’ published four years after the release of the Census for England statistics,
“If current trends continue, the proportion of the population identifying themselves as Christians will fall from 64% in 2010 to 45% by 2050, while the proportion of Muslims will rise from 5% to 11%.”
This only supports the viewpoint that religion is massively important. If schools don’t teach religion the next generation will grow up to be ignorant and uneducated in a subject that is massively on the increase, every person we see in the street has some kind of faith or belief, be that God or Allah. If we neglect our children and continue to exclude religious beliefs and disable students from practicing during school/ college days we are only doing our country a disservice.