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Secular Ethics shall Replace Religion in Public Schools in Sri Lanka

posted Apr 23, 2010, 3:13 AM by Prasad Mapatuna   [ updated Apr 23, 2010, 3:15 AM ]
Under current policies in effect, the Department of Education of Sri Lanka requires that all children in public schools to be religiously indoctrinated from kindergarten through junior high school (grade 10).  We firmly believe this is unconstitutional even under the fundamental rights provisions in the current Constitution in Sri Lanka, and this should be challenged in Supreme Court by secular parents and children.  Under current public education policies placed in practice nationwide,  a parent or child has no choice in this enforced religious education, and to prevent his or her child from religious education, except for choosing between the mainstream religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.  Freedom for Religion shall include Freedom From Religion, and this religious education can be challenged in the Supreme Court by qualifying parents and children.  G.C.E. O/L examinations conducted by the Department of Education requires every student to take an examination in one of the four mainstream religions without giving a choice to opt out.  This practice violates the rights of non-believers even under the current Constitution of Sri Lanka.

We firmly argue that public tax payer money shall not be spent on religious indoctrination inside public schools.  Religious education is a matter to decide by the private citizens and government should have no right to participate in enforcement or providing a landscape for entertaining religious dogma within public tax payer funded educational institutions. A parent or a child who wish to participate in any religious learning may be left free to attend private religious schools in Buddhist Temples, Kovils, Mosques or any other privately funded institutions that provide such services outside of the public school network.