North Tipp VEC to call for retention of religion in schools at conferenceSunday, April 22nd, 2012
North Tipperary Vocational Educational Committee (VEC) is to propose a motion at the Irish Vocational Education Authority (IVEA) Congress this summer calling for religion to be retained in Vocational secondary schools.
Speaking to CiNews, VEC member Cllr John Hogan (FF) (pictured) said, “VEC schools should try to maintain the Christian ethos.”
“Religion is not being forced down any ones neck in our schools, so why are we being forced to change. If it's not broken why go tinkering with it and try to fix it.”
Cllr Hogan said that he, “would be concerned that the vast majority of students, predominantly Christian, are having religion taken out of their schools.”
“There are even attempts now to have First Communion and Confirmation preparation removed from primary schools.”
Supporting this view, the Chief Executive Officer of the VEC Mr David Leahy said that the VEC Schools are multi-denominational and promote a respect for other people's views , whether Catholic Protestant, Muslim, Jehovah Witness or any other.
“I have taught religion in schools and have had many different religions in my class and I have to say that the class was all the better for it. Religion has caused so much division in the world and it's a real contradiction because the essential message is one of respect for each other. That's the message we try to promote in our schools and that is the way forward.”
Mr Leahy confirmed that he would frame the motion to be sent to the IVEA and the wording will be discussed and debated at the next VEC meeting in May.
The IVEA national Congress, which is the umbrella body for the country’s vocational Educational Committees, will take place on September 12 and 13 at the Slieve Russell Hotel in Ballyconnell in County Cavan.
by Sean Ryan