Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Dodgy practises

Good article in the Guardian today about the dodgy practices going on in many UK schools around admissions and certain sections of society (religions) breaking the rules in an attempt to skew admissions so that they achieve a favourable intake. This underhand trick would seem to be how many of these schools achieve the so called "good results" that they constantly bleat on about, i.e. unfairly! Essentially they cheat, and now they've been found out. Unfortunately the current education secretary is a member of the "club" and rather than supporting organisations trying to uncover this law breaking she has decided to recommend that they be banned from challenging suspected offenders (yes really!). A more typically religious (head-in-the-sand) response you'd be hard pressed to think of, well, apart from burning the trouble-makers alive at the stake perhaps.

If you ask me all state funded faith schools should be recast as entirely secular institutions (like the US public education system), fair and open for any pupil, regardless of the private beliefs of their parents. Comparative religious education should be mandatory and science, along with sex education, should be taught without exclusions or special warrants. Any school wishing to indoctrinate children into one particular superstition-set over another and pick and choose which topics are warped or censored entirely should be forced to become private and fee-paying but still be covered by some basic benchmark measures of teaching inclusiveness.

For a nation struggling with many divisive forces trying to undermine societal cohesion, true secularism and proper integration is the only way forward; the alternative is simply a gradual creeping balkanization, and we all know how that ends.

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