#1131 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 27 Sep 2015
In NSW, Special Religious Education, also known simply as “Scripture,” is available to all and mandatory for no one. There seems no good reason to have it banned, as certain lobby groups would like.
In April this year the NSW Department of Education released a framework document on student wellbeing, drawing on the latest scholarly literature, giving a high place to the child’s “spiritual wellbeing” alongside cognitive, physical, social and emotional development.
According to the departmental document, spiritual wellbeing
relates to our sense of meaning and purpose. It can include our connection to culture, religion or community and includes the beliefs, values and ethics we hold.
Spiritual wellbeing is enabled, in part, by ensuring that “students are connected with their cultural, religious or spiritual background.”
It seems to me that Special Religious Education, in its present form, provides an excellent path to achieving this important educational objective in NSW schools.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.