Metatron from the Greek after and throne taken together as "one who serves behind the throne" or "one who occupies the throne next to the throne of glory" and yes it is a real word.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Schools being 'forced to axe religious education lessons'

WOW ! this is great news now if we could just ban it the world would be a lot safer place.

Don't forget with religious education you don't always get good little followers but sometimes get someone like me !

The pity is that new religious schools are being created so more young minds are being warped ....sigh...

I have studied religions and heck I am far more qualified to talk about lots of them than the stupid followers that have never read the holy books let alone think they know what they are saying, if you don't believe me ask a suicide bomber or anyone that kills in the name of a god.

Religious education lessons 'dying out' in schools

Religious education is being undermined by a “crippling ambivalence” towards the subject in state schools, according to research published today.

RE is suffering from a
RE is suffering from a "crippling ambivalence", according to Prof James Conroy. Photo: ADRIAN SHERRATT
Lessons are increasingly dying out because of a decline in the amount of time, money and resources devoted to the traditional discipline, it is claimed.
James Conroy, professor of religious and philosophical education at Glasgow University, warned that RE was becoming less focused on issues of faith as schools “overburden” the curriculum with everything from citizenship to sex and relationships.
Nationally, as little as £1 per pupil is now spent on the subject, he said.
Prof Conroy warned that the decline was being fuelled by the Government’s decision to exclude it from the English Baccalaureate – a new school leaving certificate in England that rewards performance in a range of academic subjects including maths, history and languages.
The research comes just days after outrage over a decision to cease holding prayers during official council proceedings after an atheist former councillor objected that the tradition overlooked non-believers.

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His paper is due to be presented at a major debate in London focusing on religion in schools.
Prof Richard Dawkins, the scientist and atheist campaigner, and the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, the head of the Church of England’s board of education, are also due to address the Westminster Faith Debates on Wednesday.
Prof Conroy's three-year study – based on an in-depth analysis of 24 schools – found that the best teachers used RE to form close bonds with the local community and provide pupils with the meanings behind different rituals and social practices.
In one example, a teacher failed to shy away from pupils’ desire to discuss Islamic terrorism, the study said, teaching different interpretations of “jihad” and allowed them to explore the claims made by extremists to find out how far they were truly theological.
But in poor RE classes, teachers simply introduce students to the "surface phenomena of religion", the report warned.
"The problem goes much deeper than individual teachers or schools. It is symptomatic of a crippling ambivalence about RE which runs through British society, and infects educational policy,” said the study.
Prof Conroy said: "Even where RE is taught magnificently, it is so against the odds.
"RE in Britain is under-resourced, torn between competing aims, and has become overburdened by having to include other subjects (from sex to citizenship).
"Whilst governments insist on RE's importance in theory, they marginalise it in practice - as Michael Gove [the Education Secretary] has recently done by refusing to treat it as a core subject and excluding it from the English Baccalaureate."
His report warns that religious education “matters as never before”.
"As religious and secular diversity increases, students need to be able to articulate their own beliefs, and engage seriously with those of others, as never before,” he said. “Respect and social harmony depend upon it.
"What is happening to RE in our schools is a scandal for which we will have to pay a high price in years to come."
Terry Sanderson, president National Secular Society said last night: “Religious Education is already mandatory in every school in the country and increasingly it is being abused as a means of evangelisation.
"We are receiving complaints on an almost daily basis from parents who are telling us that their children are being subjected to lessons that are not aimed simply at giving them information about religion, but on teaching them how to observe that religion and practise it.
"To be truly objective, education about religion should be spread across the curriculum, through history and geography and literature where its influence can be explored academically.
"Once you specify a subject called ‘Religious Education’ it an rapidly morph into Religious Instruction. In faith schools that instruction is inevitably skewed in a sectarian direction.
"Prof Conroy’s complaints are self-serving and reek of vested interest.”

– Why can’t we talk in schools about the causes of terror?

Julian Mann has been vicar of the Parish Church of the Ascension, Oughtibridge, South Yorkshire since 2000. Before getting ordained he was a reporter for Retail Week. He is married to Lisa and they have four teenage sons.

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Yes, the head of religious education at a large comprehensive school in a major UK city really did tell the Anglican clergyman from Jos, Nigeria, not to say that his friend had been murdered by a Muslim.
The teacher had invited the young Nigerian minister for a preliminary meeting to discuss how he might contribute to the peace and conflict course for Year 11 GCSE students. After some initial enquiries about his experience of growing up in a Christian family in a mainly Muslim area of Jos, he was asked to participate in the session on forgiveness and reconciliation.
Asked what he would say about this from his own experience, he related that in 2008, when Christians in Jos and their churches were subject to a spate of attacks by Islamist militants, he witnessed a Muslim hacking a close Christian friend of his to death with a machete.
He movingly described how forgiveness does not come easily but the process of forgiveness begins with the intention to obey Jesus Christ’s command to love your enemies and to pray for them. See, for instance, Matthew’s Gospel, when Jesus commanded his disciples in his Sermon on the Mount: ‘But I say unto you (in contrast to the Pharisaic practice of loving neighbour but hating enemy), Love your enemies and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you’.
This line of thought appeared to be acceptable to the teacher provided the Nigerian did not tell the class that the man who murdered his friend was a Muslim. Why not?  ‘I don’t want a debate kicking off with the Muslims in my class.’
Is this an isolated incident in a British state school? Hardly likely given the culture of political correctness pervading our schools, which I have personally encountered as both a Church of England minister and a parent, though the suppression of educational reality in this case is surely – dare one say? – extreme. It is painfully ironic that this incident occurred shortly before the tragic deaths in Nairobi when Islamist terrorists targeted non-Muslims in a shopping centre.
Apart from being educationally immoral, such suppression of the truth is also crass because 15- and 16-year-olds use the internet. They only have to Google in Jos, Nigeria and they would learn from reputable news sources that since 2001 Islamist militants have been terrorising Christians. I myself saw a church that had been firebombed when I visited in Jos in early 2012.
Furthermore, the British Muslims in the class are also being ill served. Within a supervised discussion in an RE lesson, should they not be allowed to say that the Jihadist killing of Christians does not reflect their understanding of Islam or that it does?  If they owned up to the latter conviction, which happens to held by many Muslims around the world, then surely the teacher would have the professional responsibility to explain that acting on that conviction is morally wrong universally and so rightly illegal in Britain.
In the real world our school children are living in and, God willing, going to be working in, is that not precisely the sort of discourse British tax-payers committed to freedom under the rule of law want to see ‘kicking off’ in class rooms around the country?

Schools being 'forced to axe religious education lessons'

Religious education is being “killed off” in schools because of Government reforms to the curriculum and qualifications, according to research.

More schools are dropping religious education classes in the final two years of compulsory education, figures show.
More schools are dropping religious education classes in the final two years of compulsory education, figures show. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Figures show that a third of secondary schools now flout the law by refusing to allow pupils to study the subject in the final two years of compulsory education.
In a damning report, it emerged that rising numbers of schools were cutting specialist RE teachers and relying on staff with a poor grasp of the subject to deliver lessons.
The study by the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education also found that more pupils were dropping the subject at GCSE level or being forced to squeeze courses into just a year.
The conclusions come just months after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, attacked moves to “downgrade” RE in secondary schools in the face of a rise in the influence of aggressive secularism.
Researchers warned that the introduction of the “English Baccalaureate” – a new school leaving certificate – was to blame for a sharp decline in the subject’s status.
Under the system, pupils can gain the EBacc for achieving good GCSE grades in the five core academic disciplines of maths, English, science, foreign languages and either history or geography.
The Government is now proposing to scrap GCSEs altogether in these subjects in favour of new-style qualifications dubbed “English Baccalaureate Certificates”.
But the NATRE claimed the move had marginalised other subjects that are not included in the reforms, meaning hundreds of schools were “killing off RE”.
It comes despite the fact that RE is currently a compulsory subject in all state schools.
Ed Pawson, the organisation’s chairman, said: “It is unacceptable that such a high number of schools are failing to offer their students the opportunity to study RE.
“In addition, many schools report a serious reduction in specialist RE teaching staff, stating the introduction of the EBacc as the major factor.
“We are calling on the government to conduct an urgent inquiry into why so many schools are neglecting a subject that they say is compulsory.”
The NATRE surveyed 625 schools in England on the provision of RE in the curriculum.
Researchers found that 33 per cent of schools were not meeting “legal requirements” to offer it as a subject in Key Stage 4 – covering 14- to 16-year-olds – up from just over a quarter last year. The number of schools shunning the subject rises to 42 per cent among the Government’s flagship academies and 40 per cent among state comprehensives.
Some one-in-eight schools also admitted dropping RE for pupils in the first three years of secondary school, it was revealed.
In other findings, the research found that:
• Almost two-thirds of schools reported a decline in the number of pupils studying RE at GCSE level this year – an increase of 12 per cent in two years;
• A fifth admitted trying to deliver the two-year GCSE course in “less than the recommended teaching time” because of staffing problems;
• Almost a quarter of schools reported a reduction in the number of specialist staff employed to teach RE in 2012/13;
• In around half of schools, at least one in 10 RE lessons were now being delivered by teachers trained in other subjects such as history and geography.

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