Friday, 22 May 2009

Faith Misplaced?

Once again, this topic was started in the car journey to/from work... is there any topic that we don't cover?!

Several of my colleagues have young children and a number of them have sent their children to faith schools and the question was should kids be sent to a school based on the educational standard and in a mixed cultural/religious environment or a single faith based school which would tend to have a limited demographic.

Arguments put forward were that, irrespective of which faith, kids were brought up with morals and in better behaved culture but a counterpoint was that these kids would have a limited growth being around only a certain type of people and stunted development as 'kids just don't get to be kids' and are uncannily angelic.

My background was going to a Roman Catholic school and I can compare my junior school to one 2 blocks away which was a normal mixed state school and the difference was remarkable. We were in uniform, better behaved and performed better in exams. On the other hand, I had to attend all the Christian religious ceremonies, including several masses and even eating the wafer representing the body of Christ... despite being of a different religion!
Due to the confusion caused amongst children of other beliefs, other faith schools have opened up to cater for the different needs but are children going to these schools not having the best childhood?

One of my friends went to a mixed school and he claimed that he preferred it as from a young age he was in a multi cultural society and although it was less behaved, the lessons learnt from the social aspect was irreplaceable. Kids should be able to be kids and if they don't get to any trouble, they're not having a fun time. They should learn the boundaries of their behaviour and learn early on how to deal with situations like bullying, being with girls (some faith schools separate the genders) as well as understanding different cultures and becoming more tolerant.

If you have kids, where would you send your children? Or where have you already sent them and why?

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