Monday, November 30, 2009

Public money for private bigotry?

I read with dismay and depression that the Government has been shipping cash into a "faith" school in my home county of Berkshire (Slough) and another in Haringey (London) I am especially upset because it turns out that one of the governors of a funding charity related to these schools and perhaps one of its head teachers is a member of a radical Islamic organisation (Hizb ut-Tahrir).

Now there is much controversy surrounding this story, the Conservatives raised it in the house of commons and Labour are now scurrying around throwing up chaff and trying to cover the tracks. Actually, I couldn't care less about the specifics of these reports, the fact that some relativist Labour drone is arguing with a vote craving Conservative one about who said what, when is secondary in my view. The  real meat of this story is about the schools and what they teach the children, any faith school that receives money from the tax payer should be open to scrutiny and accountable to our standards. What I would insist Ed Balls tells me is not where the money came from or how he determines the suitability of school governors, I want to know what is being taught to these children. Mr Balls is keen to throw an accusation of "divisiveness" at the Tories but what could be more divisive than a "faith" school, that's the whole point of them!

So, Mr Balls, please tell, what exactly are these kids being taught when we look at key stage 1 and key stage 2 of the curriculum, how should Islamic schools like this represent the values of Sharia supporting governors like the ones in this story and why is it not divisive for them to do it?

As a thought experiment, I wonder how "Islamic" curriculum notes would look compared to standard ones?

Literacy - requires adjustment to exclude certain poetry units and all use of drama
Science - drop units concerning life processes, especially reproduction, adaptation and evolution
Music - oh deary no..
Sex and Relationship Education - not likely...
RE - cancel the Jewish temple visit, throw all those bibles in the bin
PE - lessons will be segregated by gender, and the dance units completely removed
Art - probably would have to go entirely
Humanities - reduce to a discussion of the history and geography of the Caliphate
Modern Foreign Languages -  Qur'anic Arabic is modern enough
PHSE - of course not!

So when will this Government actually focus on the real issue here which is the education (not indoctrination) of children, and abandon its transparent attempt to capture Muslim votes through divisive apologetics, I'm not holding my breath.


Chairman Bill said...

I do believe Cat Stevens has had a re-think on music.

Steve Borthwick said...

CB, yes he's a (moon)shadow of his former self!