One of Ireland's largest teachers' unions has called for a law that prescribes a "religious spirit" to run though all the work done in primary schools to be dropped.
Presenting at the Forum on Pluralism and Patronage in the Primary Sector yesterday (June 23rd), the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) said the legislation is unfair on parents who do not follow such an ethos and have exempted their children from religious education classes, the Irish Independent reports.
INTO called for Rule 68 of the Rules for National Schools legislation, which dates back to the 1920s, to be abolished.
This mandates that a "religious spirit should inform and vivify the whole work of the school".
However, it suggested at the event that a removal of religion from the classroom is not possible under current laws.
Chair of the forum Professor John Coolahan said the state appeared to be prohibited from allowing non-religious schools.
Last month, a report from the Irish Human Rights Commission said more must be done in the country's education system to protect pupils' freedom of religion, both for those of the Roman Catholic faith and children from minorities.