FIRIS is pleased to share the following expert review of the curriculum used by ACCESS Ministries
FIRIS Presents, Mission Field: No Education Expected
This is a 15 minute film that explores the way activists are using our schools for purposes that have nothing to do with education.
This clearly shows how what is going on is not for kids, schools or parents but something that aggressive evangelical groups are exploiting for mission and conversion.
Please join FIRIS by entering your email and hitting “AGREE” button to indicate that you agree with the aims of FIRIS.
FIRIS is a parent run campaign that aims to change the way children experience religion in Victoria State schools.
- Churches have no right to set school curriculum policy.
- The current policy is designed to favour ACCESS Ministry, and only ACCESS Ministry. This group runs a Ministry with government authority and funding.
- We support education about religion consistent with Australia’s multicultural character and believe that families can be trusted to attend to the religious formation of their children. The current school policy is a result of political intimidation by a small number of church activists.
- This policy divides children and school communities by requiring families of minority religions, or of no religion to withdraw their children from school time.
A wide spectrum of people, from across the religious spectrum have said things that support our campaign, ACCESS Ministry says this is a war on religious faith, FIRIS says that the principle of secular education protects the rights of all families equally.
There is plenty of room for all the different churches in Australian society but our State Schools are not Church Playgrounds.
AIMS OF FIRIS:
- Maintain an inclusive school curriculum that does not require any student to withdraw from class on account of different religious beliefs
- Formally cease the practice of volunteer-run special religious instruction (SRI) during school hours
- Follow an objective, fair and balanced comparative syllabus for education about religions and beliefs
- Treat all religious organisations who wish to use the school facilities outside of the school day with transparent and equitable policies
TO SEE IF YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL HAS SRI, click map image below to go to FIRIS school database
“The solution is not to abandon education about religion; events of the past decade illustrate the dangers of religious ignorance and intolerance. However, the government should not rely on faith-driven volunteers instead of trained educators who teach to the same professional standards as in any other subject. The goal must not be to convert children but to ensure they have the general religious literacy they need to make sense of the past, present and future.” – EDITOR, THE AGE
Fact Sheet (pdf): ISSUES
School is for learning through enquiry, not indoctrination. Families should be trusted to attend to the religious formation of their children. Currently the system is designed to use the authority of the Victorian Department of Education to facilitate a church ministry in schools.
The FIRIS CAMPAIGN TEAM is working overtime to bring this policy issue to a resolution. We are grateful for all your calls, emails and offers of support. Many of you are asking, “What can I do?”
- The first thing you need to know is that your school principal, your teachers are not responsible for this situation and they can’t fix it. You can and should communicate with your principal and share our website and your concerns, but this is not an issue that can or should be resolved on a “school by school basis”. This is a state policy and the people who you need to talk to are policy makers at the state level.
- Find out when religious instruction will be commencing in your school and make an informed decision about whether your children will attend.
- Write to your school council and/or principal and express your opinion.
Ask your school news letter to place our website under “community notices” and email your friends with a recommendation that they join the campaign.
Account #: 145193314