Atheists Want Religious Subjects Scrapped
The Atheists in Kenyan society have written to the Presidential Working Group on Education asking a reform of the Competency-Based Curriculum’s religious education requirements (CBC).
In a memorandum dated Wednesday, November 9, Chairman Harrison Mumia requested that the task group substitute Philosophy and Ethics for religious subjects such as CRE, HRE, and IRE.
Mumia said that the existing educational system excludes other sorts of human views and values maintained by persons with different beliefs.
“This reformed subject will include objective education about religious belief, but not to the detriment of other important philosophical and ethical perspectives like humanism, atheism, Buddhism, polytheism, naturalism,” Mumia wrote.
The group said that while religion encompasses a vast spectrum, only CRE, HRE, and IRE are taught in public schools. He stated that this disparity allows teachers to force their religious beliefs on students.
“The teaching of ‘religious education’ under the CBC provides an opportunity for those that do wish to convert from one religion to another in the classroom to do so,” the memorandum read in part.
Mumia also says evangelical groups have taken advantage of flaws in schools by sending preachers to teach instead of certified teachers.
While accepting that morality is an essential virtue must be imparted to students, it is not intrinsically linked to religion.
Society says that morality was imposed based on tolerance and respect for those with opposing viewpoints.
Mumia said that it is important for civic education to teach about the different national, regional, religious, and ethnic identities in Kenya and around the world, as well as the need for tolerance and understanding between people.
Atheists suggested making a council to guide the development and content of the new subject. This council would be made up of leading educators and scholars.
In addition, teachers, scholars, employers, and higher education institutions should be consulted.
Consulted, but without undue influence on how religious education is offered.