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Reader feedback: Can't the churches teach?

Re: Religious education treaty passes amidst protests, By Martina Pisárová, Feb 2 - 8, 2004, Vol 10, No 4

A week has 168 hours. Of these, the average student spends about 40 doing schoolwork, perhaps a little more or less depending on the child's age and circumstances. In those 40 hours, teachers and students must attend to the Slovak language, mathematics, the sciences, geography, history, a foreign language, physical education, and the arts. I don't know anyone who feels there is enough time to teach or learn anything more through the school system.

Of the 128 hours left in the week, a child might reasonably be expected to spend about 70 hours in bed or at the dinner table.

That leaves about 58 hours of discretionary time. Why don't parents and students who want to use some of those 58 hours for religious instruction, do go outside of the already overstressed and underfunded academic school system? Can parents not send their children to religion classes in the houses of worship on Saturdays or Sundays, where experts in the field instruct them? In this way, the schools could concentrate on what they do best: providing an academic education. And the churches (synagogues, mosques) could provide leadership in their own fields. If parents or students or clergy aren't already doing this, or would object to doing it, I suggest that their commitment to religious studies is suspect.

But isn't all this discussion purely academic? Slovakia has already given up some of its newfound autonomy to new masters in Rome, who are much more powerful than any of us writing here.


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