PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Free Your Mind
 
Comments: 23
Article views: 678
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all Free Your Mind's badges.
 

Education Department is testing us

16 April 2013, 07:27

I wince whenever I read our Constitution "guarantees" us freedom of religion. It may be true in theory, but in practice like children the powers that be in our young democracy constantly test our boundaries. If it were not the case, there would be no need for us to approach chapter nine institutions such as the South African Human Rights Commission and the CRL Rights Commission, noble community organisations such as Equal Education, Equality Courts, and as a last resort the Constitutional Court.


Religion is allowed in our schools whether we like it or not, but our schools are supposed to accommodate religious diversity (that means all religions). Despite The National Policy on Religion and Education adopted in 2003 and the Department of Basic Education's National Guidelines on School Uniform adopted in 2006, which claim to accommodate religious and cultural diversity, we are still being tested by our schools and education authorities.


Schools regularly turn away Rastafarian children with dreadlocks (Pupil, school face off over dreadlocks) and earlier this year a Western Cape school turned away two siblings wearing Muslim headgear (Fez, scarf siblings back at school). In 2007 the Constitutional Court found Durban Girls' High School had unfairly discriminated against a Hindu schoolgirl by not allowing her to wear a nose stud (MEC for Education: KwaZulu-Natal and Others v Pillay (2007)). I haven't read about anyone being turned away for wearing a crucifix.


While past tests appear to have been focussed on dress codes, in my opinion we are now facing a much more serious test (Satanism in schools: The acid test).


In March this year, Gauteng MEC for Education Barbara Creecy released an official statement about an "anti-Satanism strategy" developed by a primarily Christian "team of faith-based organisation (FBO) practitioners" to address "harmful religious practices" related to "the occult and Satanism" (MEC Creecy says GDE anti-Satanism strategy will address harmful religious practices). Creecy said a handbook had been compiled to "help educators and parents deal with Satanism ... The book has information on what signs to look out for, and where and how to get help if you suspect that a child is involved in the occult" (Education Department piloting handbook on dealing with Satanism). That sounds a lot like the prejudicial SAPS list of occult-related warning signs that has been removed from its website, not to mention the medieval Malleus Maleficarum.


Unfortunately for the Education Department, Pagans and atheists were not impressed by this. According to an article in Sunday Times Extra on 31 March 2013, "Spokesman for the HRC Isaac Mangena said the commission has received several complaints regarding Creecy's alleged utterances" (Satanism is not evil, says activist by Doreen Premdev). Last week the Gauteng Education Department said there would be no handbook (No guide on ‘harmful practices’), presumably as a result of these complaints, but they nevertheless appear to be pressing on with their strategy behind the scenes. It appears advocacy for religious freedom has only made them less transparent about it. The Citizen has further reported spokesperson for the MEC Charles Phahlane said "the department was not singling out specific religions but referring to any religion that condoned practices that might endanger the lives of others" (Education dept is guilty of hate speech - pagans), however the "anti-Satanism" headline still on the department's website and the lack of consultation with minority religious groups flatly contradicts this.


At this stage the debate is not about Religion Education but about unfair discrimination towards and stigmatization of learners who belong to minority religious groups and/or display behaviour the authorities, with a fundamentalist Christian bias, deem "harmful". The authorities are trying to scapegoat minority religions for behavioural problems instead of addressing it in a secular way (with psychologists etc). Apart from being unconstitutional, this in itself is potentially harmful for the learners and their families. So-called "Satanic" incidents being reported on in the media are typically related to accusations of Satanism or what is known as "legend tripping", whereby people dabble in what they think Satanism is based on scaremongering by Christian fundamentalists. Some learners have already been traumatized and isolated because of accusations of Satanism. (If you are not worried yet, please read the story linked especially what the Christian pastor called to the school had to say.)


This is nothing more than a modern witch hunt.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
23 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Thomas Freeman
The "authority" of the Christian ...

The Nicene Creed (*) which gave authority to the New Testament became the foundational creed of Christianity, and today is the only creed acknowledged by Protestant/Reformed, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic traditions.  Read more...

0 comments 0 views
Submitted by
Tolly Silo
Are there benefits in working for...

After many years of thinking about retiring, my mother finally did so on the first of June 2014. I know, for some of you this is a shock but it’s as it is. Read more...

0 comments 0 views
Submitted by
cvh23
Another US intelligence failure

It is remarkable that the threat of ISIS was not predicted or foreseen by intelligence services, despite the US being actively deployed in the region, Read more...

9 comments 625 views
Submitted by
ohomen171
A wonderful surprise from the Gee...

Our living room television "got sick." We could not get the internet to come up or change sources.  Read more...

0 comments 207 views
Submitted by
Janice Neeuwfan
Gautrian delays

Experiencing train delays at Hatfield Gautrian station.  Read more...

0 comments 117 views
Submitted by
Francois Roux

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.