[DEBATE] : Fury rumbles over 'satanic' school course
nicolaspv at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 2 14:45:10 GMT 2007
It is indeed scary and I must confess that, in my secular innocence, I had not realised that evolutionism was not taught as a compulsory part of life science in SA schools. But, wile it is worrying to see religious groups intervene in state curriculum-setting (with support from unions!) with such ridiculous arguments, it seems unavoidable given the status of religion in SA society. Guess we have to hope that the DoE will be strong enough to assert that school curricula are not determined by what parents want their kids to be taught.
but it's hard to be optimistic - see ho much credit this article gives to religious arguments - and how mild the DoE's DDG defense of evolution is - "we are merely telling them that there are these beliefs out there".
Subject: Re: [DEBATE] : Fury rumbles over 'satanic' school course>> The debate about this on SAFM recently was scary. A HUGE number of> people phoning in and saying "evolution is a marginal, disproved> theory", citing all the usual anti-evolution nonsense. Probably more> scary, however, was the Education Department's spokesperson, who said> that the new textbooks contain a section on Creationism / Intelligent> Design. I haven't seen these new textbooks, has anyone??>> Peter>> Russell Grinker wrote:>> Fury rumbles over ‘satanic’ school course>>>> Evolution is offered in next year’s curriculum>>>> By CHANDRÉ PRINCE>> Daily Dispatch Education Reporter>>>> ANGER is growing over the introduction of evolution as a course in next>> year’s school curriculum, with religious groups and teacher unions fiercely>> opposing the move.>> Opponents of the controversial decision by the national Education Department>> complain that no proper consultation went into the course material which,>> they said, borders on “satanism”.>> There are now moves to pressure the department to review its decision to>> offer the subject as part of Life Science under the new Grade 10 and 12>> curriculum in public and private schools.>> Although the subject is not compulsory and the department has promised to>> present it in a “sensitive” way, it has sparked outrage.>> Godly Governance Network provincial secretary Sipho Mengezeleli said the>> introduction of evolution was a revolution against God and Christianity.>> Mengezeleli, who has started canvassing other religious organisations in an>> effort to mount a united front against the department, said: “This course is>> aimed at eroding God from people’s mind. It’s satanic by its very nature>> because it’s against creation and against God.”>> Hindu Society chairperson Gino Vassan said the concept of evolution goes>> directly against Hinduism and should not even be an option. “We don’t>> believe in evolution – we believe in reincarnation,” said Vassan. “We would>> not want something that goes against our belief to be taught to our>> children.”>> South African Democratic Teachers’ Union provincial secretary Mxolisi Dimaza>> and Congress of South African Students provincial chairperson Xolani Witbooi>> said government was imposing policies without proper consultation.>> “We feel strongly that we can’t support any policy that will differ from>> God’s word,” said Witbooi, adding evolution would prove “confusing” to>> pupils and have detrimental effects on the country’s education.>> The evolution content would focus on key areas, including:>> * Biological evidence of evolution and populations;>> * Fossils as evidence of ancient life;>> * Origin, formation and development of species;>> * Belief about creation and evolution;>> * Family trees and evolutionary relationships;>> * Darwin and Lamarck’s theories; and>> * African perspective on evolution.>> Not all religious leaders were opposed to the subject being taught; one said>> it was necessary to present other points of view.>> “Evolution is not from God, it’s satanic. We teach it on a positive note so>> that learners know the theories of the world,” said Nicholas Mcoteli, pastor>> of Burning Bush Ministries and a founder of Faith Revival Christian School.>> Penny Vinjevold, deputy director-general for further education and training,>> yesterday urged people to carefully scrutinise the subject content before>> over-reacting. She said extensive consultation had taken place in 2001 and>> 2002 when the curriculum was developed, and added:>> “We’ve been sensitive to the views of various people and have attempted at>> all times to display the sensitivity.”>> She added Life Science was not a compulsory subject and pupils would not be>> forced to agree with the course material presented on evolution.>> “Different theories offer a variety of explanations on the origin of human>> beings and we are just telling children that evolution was one such theory.>> “We are not forcing them to believe it; we are merely telling them that>> there are these beliefs out there,” she said.>>>>>> _______________________________________________>> DEBATE mailing list>> DEBATE at lists.kabissa.org>> http://lists.kabissa.org/mailman/listinfo/debate>>>
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