News – 19 November 2010

Secular Party challenges Bronwyn Pike

The Education Minister Bronwyn Pike has refused to allow humanist ethics to be taught in Victorian schools, as an alternative to Christian Religious Instruction. The Humanist Society of Victoria has developed a syllabus suitable for use in schools. This could be approved by the appropriate accrediting body, but Ms Pike has rejected it on the grounds that humanism’s “world view philosophy cannot be defined as a religion”.

The Secular Party’s John Perkins, a school parent, and member of the Humanist Society of Victoria, is challenging Ms Pike in the District of Melbourne in the state election on 27th  November . The government’s failure to provide for non-religious children is discrimination and should be illegal.

“Teach all religions, or teach none” said Dr Perkins, echoing the views of another Victorian school parent.

Private religious schools already receive 70 percent of Federal education funds. Now, in response to the religious lobby, the Brumby government has announced it will provide an additional $200 million to religious schools, an increase of 40 percent. What will this lead to?

The Secular Party believes that taxpayer funds should not be used to promote religion. They should be used to improve government schools. Instead of religious segregation, would it not be better, and help overcome differences, if more children from different backgrounds went to the same school?

“Whatever happened to the ideal that education should be ‘universal, secular and free’?”, said Dr Perkins. “Ethics should be based on the universal principles of compassion, honesty, freedom and justice”, he said.

For details, contact John Perkins:

Email: jperkins@secular.org.au
Tel: 0411 143744

The Secular Party of Australia
PO Box 6004, Melbourne, Vic 8008

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