Friday 20 April 2018

Letters: Quinn needs to educate himself on faiths

Ruairi Quinn: his comments demean what teachers know to be the case
Ruairi Quinn: his comments demean what teachers know to be the case

The kindest interpretation of the Education Minister's anti-religious comment at the recent Irish Primary Principals Network Conference is that having a cut at Catholic schools is always good for a few column inches.

If he really meant what he is reported to have said, then we have reason to be worried. An Education Minister should be a little more conscious of the contribution of theistic faiths to metaphysics, science and culture. He should be aware of just how important a contribution they have made, through schools and universities, in delivering educational access to the poor and disadvantaged in Ireland and in poorer countries – especially in communities where political ideologies count for nothing.

Ruairi Quinn's comments also demean what teachers – from primary school to third level – know to be the case: namely that all knowledge needs to be encompassed within life values that have to do with putting this knowledge at the service of the wider community. In Catholic schools this means the Gospel-based values of love, social justice and equality. That begins in primary school.

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