Saturday, July 26, 2008

Irish parents want the influence of religion in schools drastically scaled back

Jul 25, 2008 19:34:02 GMT

Via National Secular Society Newsline Newsletter

A poll conducted in Ireland last month shows that a majority of parents want religious influence in schools to be drastically scaled back.

The Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) carried out the independent survey which shows that 3 out of 4 parents want primary schools to be managed by the State, with equal status and opportunity for all religions.

The main findings of the poll were:

  • When given the choice the great majority of parents (72%) would prefer to see schools run by the state with equal status and opportunity for all religions.

  • Over half of all adults in Ireland with children under the age of 15 would like to see the two and a half hours spent on teaching religion allocated to some other activities.

  • A minority (43%) of all those with children under the age of 15 in Ireland would like to see this time retained for teaching religion.

  • The main activity that parents appear to want to see more time spent on is physical activity, with 1 in 4 (26%) stating they would like to see some of the time spent on religion re-allocated to this activity.

  • Mothers (32%) and 45% of younger parents (under 25 year old age groups) are behind the drive for more time spent on physical and health education.

  • In contrast with this apparent move away from religious education in schools, over half of all parents (56%) do believe that religious instruction and the preparation for Sacraments should be taught by the class teacher during school hours.

  • Those more likely to feel that it should be the responsibility of parents, appear to also come from younger under 25 year age groups, who are likely to also have much younger and fewer children.

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