Ad Gloriam Dei

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corintians 10:31

"Let us pursue the things which make for peace and those by which one may edify another"- Romans 14:19

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17

Monday, December 10, 2007

Poll on Religious Knowledge in Ireland

See here. Surprisingly, NI is worse than ROI, and "Protestants" are worse than Roman Catholics.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Religious Education in NI Schools in the 20th Century

Henry Cooke's opposition to the interference of the State in the independence of the Presbyterian Church in adminstering its schools in the early 19th Century is "relatively well-known" due to the information contained in his biography, but what is less well-known is the subsequent battle for religious education in NI schools thereafter.

The influence of the secularists was so strong that the Education Act (NI) 1923 "stated that schools were to provide ‘an education both literary and moral, based upon instruction in the reading and writing of the English language and in arithmetic.’ Religious instruction was no longer to be part of the required curriculum except where it might impinge through ‘moral education’. Under clause 28 such instruction was forbidden in elementary schools, and under clause 26, local education authorities were not permitted to provide religious instruction in schools under their control. Under clause 66 the education authority was not entitled to take into account a teacher’s religion when an appointment was being made. Lord Londonderry, who was opposed to the segregation of children according to religious belief, did not think it was the state’s role to assume responsibility to impart Christian beliefs. He argued that the state’s role should be a neutral one in this area."

By this act, the Churches also lost effectual control of their schools.

Opposition was strong and concessions were made in 1925 and 1930 to amend the Act. The 1925 amendment included morality alongside literacy as an aim of the educational system and allowed for schools to provide "simple bible instruction," but insisted that the local education authorities could not provide and pay for religious instruction.

The 1930 amendment "allowed the Protestant clergy to maintain a share in the control of the local elementary schools although these were ostensibly under local civic control. [It also provided that] the Ministry would pay one half of the costs of building and equipping new voluntary schools. It also obliged teachers to give simple bible instruction, and removed the prohibition on inquiring into a teaching candidate’s religious background."

Further information may be obtained here.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

N. Ireland 3rd in World in Reading and Science

A recent BBC News article has stated that the U.K. has dropped down the PISA/OECD league table in reading, but this is very misleading. N. Ireland came 3rd after South Korea and Finland. N. Ireland also came 3rd in science after Finland and Japan. (However, Scotland beat us in Maths, and I'm not sure where we came in that table.) Sounds like a good time to do away with the "backward" educational system of NI, which still has 11-plus's and state-funded grammar schools.

The Republic of Ireland came 7th in reading (if NI is included). Most of the English-speaking countries were in the top-ten for reading, apart from England and the U.S. (It is unclear where Scotland and Wales came.) See the following URLs: