Halfway through a 4th grade religion class in my primary school, the relief teacher stopped in the middle of a reading and sighed loudly, despairingly, before muttering, "This is just bullshit."
Back then, a teacher saying "bullshit" was enough to make the whole class gasp, and the teacher's revelation sparked a tide of dissent amongst the students who had never heard an adult say Bible stories were "bullshit". A dozen or so eight and nine year old atheists were born that day, and were moved to another classroom from then on for an extra science class. Nobody complained as we learned some more about how nature worked in the real world.
A new Howard government study reveals that religion is still regarded as more important than science in Australian schools, and sports far more important than both :
The Federal Government-commissioned study of 160 public and private primary schools found that teachers spent more than half (56 per cent) of their time teaching English and maths.
They spent 4 per cent on school assemblies and 4 per cent on religious education, but 3 per cent on teaching science. Physical education received 11 per cent of teaching time.Primary schools reported they were finding it virtually impossible to spend enough time on core subjects because their curriculums had become cluttered with an overwhelming number of life-skill subjects including manners and nutrition.
The 'working families' method of rigid social control means that what was once taught in the home - nutrition and manners - is now crammed into the already crowded schedule of alloted studies in the classroom.
But there's nothing like a good grounding in religion and sports to set up a student for solid career prospects.
Many Australians regard sport as the national religion. Maybe they can combine school religious studies with cricket training? Hit a six, receive a blessing from God.