The Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) supports the Victorian Government’s decision to change and improve the state’s school curriculum. Part of this change is to remove Special Religious Instruction (SRI) from regular class time.

The Victorian Government released a statement today recognising that only 20% of its current primary school students participate in SRI, and acknowledges other students are missing out on essential learning time.

Michael Boyd, President of the AFA, recognises this important change and states:

“The Victorian Government’s decision to introduce the new policy is an important step for the permanent removal of religious instruction from all state schools in the country. The Atheist Foundation of Australia supports the introduction of educational tools for students in ethical and moral behaviour without religion being involved.”

The new curriculum will emphasise teaching students in relationship building, understanding global cultures, the importance of history, and recognising ethics and cultural traditions.

The Victorian Government states it will now allocate time for students wishing to participate in SRI to either attend lessons before or after school, or at lunchtime.

The AFA would like to encourage other states to consider implementing similar changes.

A small percentage of students attending public schools attend religious instruction, which ultimately excludes and discriminates religious minorities and non-religious families.

An obvious contrast is NSW where the current government continues to remove the availability of ethics classes as an option on public school’s enrolment forms, while budgeting millions for school chaplaincy programs.

The AFA has previously released statements expressing dismay over the current arrangements and today would like to encourage all states to follow in Victoria’s example. It is time we removed religion being taught as fact from public schools and establish a truly secular and non-discriminatory education system.

Michael Boyd

Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 1062
Lane Cove NSW 1595

Phone: (02) 8007 4503
Email: [email protected]

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