Now this got me thinking, now my view on the whole thing is that religion should be a private thing and if you wish to believe in any religion and its associated deities then that should be something you do in your home and/or place of worship. Not something that the tax payer should be picking up the tab for to teach children about.
Now this would leave you with a gap in the school curriculum, and it then raises a question about well what could you fill that gap with? More English, Maths, Science, History or so on. But to me filling that gap with something they already do well seems a tad lazy and lacklustre.
So I had a bit of a think about it, and was thinking what would be beneficial to school children that we could fill up that gap in the timetable with. Now two things sprung to mind immediately one was home economics; we teach the kids how to cook properly and healthily. Which gives them an invaluable skill when they leave school as they know how to turn a pile of fresh produce in to a healthy, tasty meal.
But there was also another thing that would be handy, as these children are going to be the business men and women of the future and dealing with people from other nations, and one skill that we all lack is a general understanding of what people from Germany, Japan, China, Canada all like and enjoy. So we could make a cultural anthropology lesson to fill the place left by RE.
But then it dawned on me, we could combine the two. We could educate the children about the cultures of other nations and teach them how to cook food from those nations. That way we are equipping the children with two useful skills instead of teaching them RE.
Now obviously something like this would require a change in the law for it to be implemented, and would probably face some vehement opposition from some quarters of society. But I think if explained to the public correctly, then there would be overwhelming public support for such a change. As you have to ask yourself what’s more important knowing something from a religious text or being able to cook properly for yourself?
For me it’s a no brainer, let the religious bodies teach about their religion in their places of worship and use that time to teach children useful skills that can help them in life.