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Rejection of religious ‘guidelines’ the right move

Monday, 4 September 2006

Turner: Rejection of religious ‘guidelines’ the right move

News that the Ministry of Education has backed down over its plan to introduce religious guidelines is a victory for common sense, United Future deputy leader and education spokesperson Judy Turner said today.

‘It’s not up to the Ministry of Education to dictate what kind of religious education happens in schools. That’s for the local communities and parents to decide.

"Opt-out provisions for parents already exist. Changing from opt-out to opt-in would have been an administrative nightmare for schools.

“I was deeply disturbed to learn of the Ministry’s intentions, which seemed to me like many others, to be a thinly-veiled plan to end the practice of karakia and Bible in schools.

“The current practice ain’t broke, so why try to fix it? There has been a huge jump in Ministry staff since this Government came to power. Is this evidence that the bureaucrats have nothing to do? It sure seems that way if they continue to meddle in areas where there is no demand for change.

“I remain angry that the Ministry of Education would attempt to implement these ‘guidelines’ without first consulting the community. This was a heavy-handed, anti-faith assault by the Ministry, which was quite unnecessary.

“Congratulations to church leaders for speaking out against this piece of nonsense," said Mrs Turner.

ENDS

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