The right to participate in reform: parents and RE
The author identifies different parties who express interest in Religious Education, and who make demands on the nature and content of religious education as it is provided in schools, but focuses only on one of these parties, namely the parents. The author explores the reasons why parents seek to be involved in—or even are legally bound to be responsible for—certain decisions pertaining to Religious Education in schools. In the process of her discussion, the author explores the constitutional and the legislative provisions that defend the role (and authority) of parents where the Religious Education of their children is concerned. She defends the interest taken by parents, arguing that Religious Education is not comparable to any other subject on the school curriculum. She also argues that “interference” in Religious Education (which is not as evident where other fields of knowledge are concerned) is justifiable, and that it is even essential for the law to be in place where the rights of parents in relation to Religious Education are concerned. She also argues, however, that there are risks involved in having parents alone make the final decision concerning Religious Education. Parents alone should not have the right or authority to decide on issues pertaining to Religious Education in schools.
KeywordsReligious education Parent involvement Rights Reform Laws Malta
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