One of the things discussed at the most recent Sitting was the need for urgent change to the way Religious Education is taught in schools, particularly for those beginning their education (i.e. in primary school). I am sure that those reading this post who are still in school will feel an almost tangible thrill of fear upon hearing/reading the acronym ‘RMPS’ as our minds are thrown back to a seemingly endless hour once a week spent in a stifling classroom listening to a monotonous drone with phrases such as ‘the death penalty’ and the ‘eightfold path’ sticking out in our memories. It will come as no surprise to anybody either still involved in (or who has recently left) the education system that the way RMPS is taught in schools need to be radically adjusted.
As far as I can remember, the only religious input I got as a primary-aged pupil in the north-east of Scotland was a ten-minute assembly from the local minister twice a year in which even I, as a regular ‘church kid’, struggled to stay awake. The minister would struggle (understandably) to engage with children ranging from age four to age twelve at two o’clock on a Friday afternoon when all they wanted to do was go outside into the sunshine and release a week’s worth of pent-up energy. In keeping with the policy now supported by the Scottish Youth Parliament, I personally think that we at SU Scotland should be not only supporting this plan, but be key players in the advisory and proposal-writing process. It is the hope of ourselves in the SU Scotland SYP team that this improved RMPS model will increase awareness of true and modern Christianity and its key principles, as well as showing that each and every religion is not the stereotype many mainstream media outlets would have the general public believe it is.
The key hope of this suggested proposal is that by addressing the stigma surrounding religious fundamentalism and the application of religion in daily life, Scotland will grow up to be a tolerant and respectful nation of which other countries are envious. In my opinion, not only should SU Scotland as a whole endorse this, but we should advocate for it, as surely any further religious teaching in schools is an opportunity for us to get alongside schools and spread the good news to more and more people?
If you have any ideas as to how SU Scotland (or indeed individual volunteers) can support this proposal, please let me know using the contact form below.
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See you next month!