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Action against religion in South African schools?

School principals and education organisations in South Africa has reacted heavily to the plan of an organisation “Sceptic South Africa” to start monitoring South African schools that are practicing religion in schools. “Sceptic South Africa” plans to prosecute those schools that allow Bible reading and prayer during classes.

The organisation is headed up by Prof George Claasen, extraordinary professor at University of Stellenbosch. Prof Claasen is acting on behalf of a group of parents that are unhappy about the “illegal” practice of religion in schools. The first schools that will be targeted are “Laerskool Stellenbosch” and “Laerskool Louw Geldenhuys”

According to Prof Rassie Malherbe(University of Johannesburg), an expert on the South African constitution, the constitution does say that religion cannot be forced on anyone, but at the same time it also says that the absence of religion cannot be enforced.

“Government policy leave room for religion in schools”, Mr Jaco Deacon, national operational head of the Federation of School Governing Bodies of South Africa commented. “According to the constitutional framework a school can still be a Christian or Muslim school. The constitution only stipulates that one cannot oblige all students to take part in religious activities. People with different opinions must also not be excluded. Schools should foster understanding and tolerance, rather than enforcing a viewpoint.” 

According to Malherbe any matter regarding religion in schools will be subject to the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom. Constitutional Judge Arthur Chaskalson already found in the 1990s that the state should allow room for people to freely practice their beliefs.

To read the original article in Afrikaans in the Rapport Newspaper by Clicking Here!

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6 Responses

  1. can someone please contact me. I’m writing a book and uase a few afrikaans words. I need help to make sure in using the correct translation. thanks

  2. can someone please contact me. I’m writing a book and use a few afrikaans words. I need help to make sure in using the correct translation. thanks

    • Dear Race Minnar

      I am not sure whom to contact but you could perhaps try our University’s Afrikaans Department. They might know of someone that could assist you.
      Their contact details are as follow:
      Tel: +27 12 420 4075
      Fax: +27 12 420 2349
      E-mail: neeltje.celliers@up.ac.za

  3. I’m using Afrikaans words in my book and I don’t know if I’m using it as it is spoken, and if my English translation is correct….thanks

  4. I think this is a very interesting blog and I happen to be learning about this in school. I think that no matter what religion will always be a very touch and contraversial subject in our society and school systems. If we are all allowed to express how we feel in a non-judgemental way it would be a lot easier.

  5. No wonder why,our children are so messed up,our schools have turned to centres of filthy and sensuality.Children are killing other children.Any sensible man will question the behaviour of students gang raping a fellow student.Its a shame to mention any further.With due respect brothers our problems are spiritual,Take away the word of GOD darkness overshadows our institutions.
    If you recall so well,our schools started as mission schools.DO WE HAVE A FUTURE WITH SO MIXED UP A YOUTH.”The beginning of wisdom is the knowledge of God”……
    “A fool says in his heart there is no God…”whether in word or in deed.

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