Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 29/01/2015. Tags: Education And Politics
The Irish Times
reported this morning that The Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) is calling for a ban on schools asking for baptismal certificates for new entrants. Currently Principals in state run schools under catholic patronage, can ask parents for baptismal certificates on all new entrants. Without a baptismal cert, parents
may find their children may not be accepted to their local schools. The humanist group argue that this is putting pressure on non-religious families to get their child baptised.
Currently, 90% of state run schools in Ireland are under Catholic Church control, giving non-religious families and those of different faiths little choice when it comes to children’s education. The HAI are meeting next week with Enda Kenny and Minister for Education, Jan O'Sullivan, to address these education issues.
According to Joe Humphreys in the IT, “Brian Whiteside
, director of humanist ceremonies, said “education is at the top of our agenda” for the meeting on Thursday.
“There is a new reality that has to be addressed. One third of couples are getting married in non-religious ceremonies. It’s reasonable to ask what sort of schools they want for their children.”
“There has been an awful lack of integrity and honesty in many areas of Irish life, and here you have young people being bullied into doing something totally against their conscience.”
According to the report, the HAI welcomed Prof John Coolahan, chairman of the forum on patronage and pluralism, comments to cut funding to schools
who do not take ‘a proactive stance’ on moving towards secular education.