Religion in schools sometimes gets a bad rap, and from time to time faith in schools comes under scrutiny. When the 2016 Census data was released earlier this year, one of the findings to capture media attention was that nearly a third of Australians (30 percent) report having no religion. Christianity certainly remains the most common religion (52 percent), but it has been in decline since the late 1960s. Yet, enrolment in faith-based schools remains steady, so what role does faith play in a contemporary school setting?
By Greg Webster, Trinity Grammar School Chaplain
It's 1:30pm Wednesday – any Wednesday. It’s lunchtime and you're standing in the line at the cafeteria. It's a time for quiet reflection. None of your friends are around so there is no one to talk to. As you quietly contemplate the deep philosophical matters of your last English class, you notice the student in front of you in the line.
He's been running around on number two oval. The sweat is dripping off him, his shirt is wet and stuck to his back. You think quietly to yourself that this is not the greatest human specimen you've ever seen.
As this week marks World Interfaith Harmony Week, it is important to acknowledge this and encourage your child to appreciate diversity in our society, in all its forms. At Trinity Grammar School we believe it is valuable for boys to understand and appreciate different religions, cultures, and values.
There are many ways you can encourage your child to embrace diversity, taking inspiration from World Interfaith Harmony week. Here are just four suggestions:
Diversity is more than paying heed to buzz-words such as harmony, inclusion and understanding, it is about action. At its’ core, diversity is about justice and fairness and removing the artificial barriers to opportunity provided by such indicators as race, ethnicity, gender and socio economic status. We all agree that without such barriers the world has an opportunity to put an end to the terror that greets us nightly on the news. But how do we move beyond the rhetoric and bring about meaningful and lasting diversity?
Many parents who choose to send their children to independent schools are seeking a values-based education. They want the values taught at school to match those of the family home. They are seeking to raise ‘good people’ who will make a positive contribution to the world.