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Should religion be taught outside of school hours?

Should religion be taught outside of school hours?

I want to ask you this today because a petition has been launched to do just that.

The petition has been started by Paddy Monahan who is a father of 1 and a campaigner against religious teaching and segregation in schools.

Paddy believes that religious teachings should be done outside of school hours and according to his petition so do a number of other people.

The petition so far has 715 out of 800 signatures so clearly there is some demand for this.

I am going to speak to Paddy about the petition in more detail but before I do I want to ask you what you think.

Do you think religion should be taught outside of school hours?

Minister for Education Richard Bruton is planning to do away with the baptism barrier in schools. He believes admissions rules are unfair and are putting some parents “under pressure to baptise their children in order to gain admission to their local school”.

Changes he plans to introduce by way of legislation this year will oblige Catholic primary schools to cease giving enrolment priority to baptised children in cases where they are over-subscribed.

The move will require a change to the Equal Status Act, which permits schools to discriminate on the basis of religion.

It now looks clear that Bruton will have a major fight on his hands in steering this legislation on to the stature books.

Submissions released to The Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act reveal the depth of opposition from Catholic bishops and trustee bodies for thousands of Catholic schools, along with management bodies and missionary groups.

It also seems many of these groups are preparing to fight these issues in the courts, if required, and believe constitutional provisions, along with case law, give them good grounds to challenge any move which would discriminate against faith schools or parental choice.

So it seems this first hurdle won’t be an easy one to get over even though parents are telling us that they are not religious and do not want their children to be. The issue is that 90% of primary schools are under Catholic patronage so many parents are forced to send their children to Catholic schools.

Paddy beieves these children who are not religious but are attending a catholic school are being forced to sit away from the rest of their class during religious education.

He believes religious should be completely separate to school hours and today I want to know if you agree or disagree.

Should religious be separate from schools in Ireland completely?

Or do you think religion plays a positive role in schooling?

I want to know what you think,

So – should religious teaching be done outside of school hours?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm 

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