religion, education and faith schools

Faith Schools and Parental choice

Should one send their children to a faith school? In Ireland many assume it will mean “immersing” their children in the Catholic of Christian faith. Our education system is not so indoctrinating and non-Catholics are well accommodated as is evident. An edited version of the letter below was published in the Irish Times.

Catholic schools have done right by all their students as shown here, verifying the phrase: “the proof of the pudding is in the eating of it.”

Sir, – you give much space to people who wish to rid education of anything to do with religion, especially the Catholic one. I have had many neighbours over the years who are Hindus from India, a Coptic Christian and Muslims from Egypt, Libya, Sudan etc. who chose to send their children to Catholic primary and secondary schools, and continue to do so. This is despite the availability of a very good non-religious state secondary school with competent teachers – that my daughter happily attends – and a recent alternative, an Educate Together school – known locally as the “Sinn Fein school.”

Some of these children have grown up and now constitute 7 doctors, 1 medical student, 1 pharmacist, 1 pharmacy student, an actuary, a marketing executive, a bioengineering student, an apprentice aeronautical engineer and a computer scientist.

I wonder who has the problem. Intolerant secular liberals want to throw out the baby with the bath water yet, as a former UK minister for education said at the opening of a Catholic school in Luton: “It wasn’t until I became Education Secretary that I realized how much the Catholic church has done for education.” Her name; Margaret Thatcher.

Yours, etc –

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