Religious education to be reviewed in some Queensland schools


In a letter sent to parents, Windsor State School principal Matthew Keong said he was concerned the program used at the school – Connect – was proselytising.

“Connect’s lesson materials go beyond imparting knowledge of biblical references, and extend to soliciting children to develop a personal faith in God and Jesus to become a Christian or `Kingdom Kid’,” Mr Keong wrote.

“In the teacher’s manuals, the Connect authors remind instructors that most of their audience is not yet Christian, and the whole program appears to be based on that premise of trying to solicit them for a decision to become the kind of Christian prescribed in the materials.”

Education Minister Kate Jones said her department would review material provided to students.

“The Department of Education has had a long-term policy in place to ensure appropriate materials are taught as part of any religious instruction program in state schools,” Ms Jones said.

“I am concerned content outside the guidelines of this long-standing policy may currently be being provided in state schools.

“Any materials found to be in breach of the policy will be removed from schools.”

Queensland Christian Religious Instruction Network’s Paul Clark said the review was an over-reaction and he hoped religious instruction would continue.

“One principal seems to have misinterpreted the guidelines and done something fairly drastic to take choice away from parents to allow their kids to experience some religion in their education setting,” he said.

“The regulations actually disallow that, as you can only be in the religious instruction class if you are of that faith.

“Christians are in with Christians and Buddhists are in with Buddhists. You can’t really change faith if you are not in the classroom.

“It is a bit of a misunderstanding of what the difference between proselytising and just inviting kids to engage in the faith and be a part of it.”

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