Provider of Religious Education responds to false allegation
New Zealand's largest provider of Religious Education responds to false allegations
“The allegations made by the Secular Education Network in their recent brochure and interview on Radio NZ is not at all consistent with how Religious Education is actually delivered in schools,” says Tracy Kirkley from the Churches Education Commission (CEC). “The Human Rights Commission issued a report in 2009 stating what is appropriate for Religion Instruction in schools and CEC abide by that. The Connect Curriculum that the Secular Education Network talk about and give examples from was removed from the CEC approved curriculum list several years ago .
The Churches Education Commission is the largest provider of Christian Religious Education in New Zealand. 2,500 volunteers across the country are in 600 schools by invitation to teach values from a curricula called “ Life Choices “ written by the CEC team that encourages children to make positive life choices, grow in character and relate well to others. Children learn values that support the New Zealand School Curriculum, combined with stories and values from the Bible. Children learn values like: Treat others as you would like to be treated, show respect, be a good friend, having self-discipline and perseverance, being brave and doing the right thing. CEC currently has a waiting list of schools nationally who are wanting a Christian Religious Education programme in their school, but can only be met as volunteers become available.
“If there are any issues where people are not happy, CEC and our teams work directly with the school to address them promptly,” says Kirkley. “Many local schools and communities are very supportive of the programme which has been a part of New Zealand’s heritage for over 140 years. We are there by request.”