against religious indoctrination in schools

Today is Mashujaa (Heroes) Day here at home. For those who do not know, this is the day, many years ago that the Colonial administration declared state of emergency in Kenya and began the arrests of those who claimed to be Mau Mau leaders and their sympathizers, The arrests began on the night of 19th October and proceeded for many days followed by trials of the leaders and the eventual jailing of some in Kapenguria and a draft of other measures. But that is not what this post is about.

In our primary and secondary schools, there is a subject on religious education indoctrination offered depending on your religious persuasion and the schools sponsor. So for example, schools that are sponsored by Muslims would offer Islamic religious education. But it is not education what they do. It should rightly be called indoctrination. It is taught as if those things in the Koran or the bible are really fact. In essence it is to make religious believers out of young impressionable minds.

And they are most often a captive audience with little opportunity for rebel. They can’t opt out without consequence. If you are unlucky and ended up in a school run by the catholics, they will try and make a catholic out of you, Mass is mandatory regardless of whether you are muslim or a believer in voo doo. It just doesn’t matter.

I argue here that it is not the role of educational institutions to indoctrinate our children. Whether children want to or not attend church cannot be made mandatory by school administration. Religious indoctrination does not prepare these young ones to be critical thinkers or good citizens. It only prepares them for church work or sheep. Mostly sheep. And this should be a private affair. If your parents are sheep, that is theirs, but children as impressionable as 4 year olds should only be taught that which can be known.

Schools should teach them social skills. Arithmetic. Science to the level of their understanding while all the time encouraging curiosity and critical thinking. If any philosophy is to be taught in schools, it should start at a level where they can now begin to process abstract concepts but only as preparation for being good citizens.

If you are of a different opinion, I would like to hear it.