Christian groups decry passage of bill demanding teachings on humanism in all Welsh schools

A bill which would make it compulsory for humanism to be taught on the same stand with religions in every school in Wales has been passed. Faith-based schools are also included. The bill equally seeks to stretch the content on sex education in schools. This has become a cause for worry for Christian law firms. 

After passing all the debate stages, the provisions of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill will become law. Elizabeth Francis, a legal officer for human rights group, Alliance Defending Freedom, U.K., gave her opinion on the issue. She said that this law would mean that the rights of parents to make decisions about their children’s sex and religious education will now be transferred to the State. Francis made this assertion in an article for The Conservative Woman.

According to the Christian Institute, the passing of the bill means that ‘’religion, ethics, and values’’ will be the new term for ‘’religious education’’. This will enable non-religious worldviews to be taught together with Christianity and other religious beliefs.

Furthermore, it would permit humanists to be included in the bodies that coordinate and formulate the syllabus.

Initially, there was a proposal that atheists should be given a veto over any religious teaching in schools. However, the clause was dropped afterwards. Nevertheless, the Christian Institute reports that the bill still “allows for disproportionate time to be spent studying Humanism or atheism. It also repealed key safeguards on the teaching of sex education.’’

The Institute’s Wales Officer, Gareth Edwards, also complained about the bill. In his words;

“The Welsh Government ignored two public consultations which clearly opposed these changes. In the last census only 815 people said they were humanists in the whole of Wales. Why have they been handed such influence over the content of religious teaching in schools?

“While this is a setback, Christians will still be able to have a positive influence in schools by responding to the public consultation on the RSE code in due course, and parents should also expect to be consulted by their schools before changes are brought in,” he added.

Francis also warned that the Welsh law will be the final confirmation that the Scottish parliament needs to endorse their plans to pull out the present discretion faith schools have when educating students on sex.

More so, in sensitive issues, the first role of parents have always been the utmost as they establish the age that is best for the cultural, background, and developmental maturity of their children.

Francis noted that the governments in England and Wales seem to be devising legal means to disregard parental rights which serve as long time principles which are observed locally and internationally. She also added that the reforms are a confirmation that there is a drift in education policy.

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