The RE.ACT Campaign has been set up in response to the fact that the English Baccalaureate curriculum is not gong to include R.E. in its humanities choices.
This seems like a bad choice given that many young people enjoy exploring other faiths, in depth, at GCSE level, but also that the world we live in is becoming increasingly diverse and so understand the richness of faith, the background of cultures and society is so important. RE isn’t about making believers, but having the opportunity to learn about a range of faiths, including ideas and beliefs you might not agree with or have engaged with before.
Here’s some info from their website:
- GCSE Religious Education (R.E.) has increased significantly in popularity, with the number of young people taking the subject at GCSE level having increased four times from 113,000 to 460,000 over the past 15 years.
- A recent study (October 2010) by the Religious Education Council reveals that 80 per cent of those aged between 16 and 24 surveyed in England and Wales thought studying R.E. promoted better understanding of different religions and beliefs, which is especially important living in modern, multicultural Britain.
- R.E. is the ultimate humanities subject, which is intellectually rigorous, academic and incorporates a broad range of subjects including ethics, philosophy, theology and anthropology.
We see the absence of GCSE Religious Education (R.E.) as another way in which faith has become marginalised in the education system.
Religious Education and religious traditions have always been at the heart of the British Education System. In fact the Church established the first schools in the UK exactly 200 years ago.
Yet, although England has a strong Christian heritage, it is becoming increasingly diverse and multi-faith in nature. Therefore it is particularly important for young people to learn about other faiths, in depth at GCSE level, creating a culture of tolerance and understanding and enabling them to better understand the world in which they live.
If we fail to do this we could risk creating a generation of young people who are ignorant, apathetic or at worse hostile towards people who hold different beliefs.
Please do sign up in support of the campaign, this isn’t about converting people in schools but allowing faith discussion to be a priority in education.