Sunday school and the lost Religious Education

THE absence of religious education in the school curriculum diminishes the central place religion holds in community. An ideal education takes a holistic approach that mentors the mind, the hands, and the heart. Religious education is important in instilling morals, observing ethical standards of behaviour and grooming a person to be fit for society.

THE absence of religious education in the school curriculum diminishes the central place religion holds in community. An ideal education takes a holistic approach that mentors the mind, the hands, and the heart.

Religious education is important in instilling morals, observing ethical standards of behaviour and grooming a person to be fit for society.

For healthy mental development, children need to know there is something greater than them.

Religious tolerance is still a big challenge to society. Initially, religious education used to be part of the school curriculum. I keep wondering what was considered when it was scrapped off.

Ever noticed the Sunday school classes in church? They are packed with the “kids”. Where do the older secondary school going kids disappear to?

I worry when I look at the dwindling Sunday school; it speaks volumes about our priorities in life. Are we forgetting the basics?

“Setting the alarm on Sunday morning is inhuman...God should know that!” Those were my adolescent thoughts every weekend when my parents forced me to church.

“I can get more out of the Beatles.” It was this way as far back as I can remember. Early Sunday school, then bible studies, followed by boring liturgies.

I would worry the entire journey just to make my parents as miserable as I felt. It never changed in all those years. 

I look back thirty years later and I bless my parents for the gift they gave me. I practice my religion and I live with every pore in my body believing in something greater than myself. My faith is now as easy as breathing.

My peers, like the school system and the church dedicate themselves never to raise their children that way. Most of them resort to waiting until the children are old enough to decide for themselves.

If children don’t learn that we at times, do things we dislike for a better good, they don’t learn self discipline. If we neglect their spiritual nature, they may never truly trust God.

I see behind me a generation of lost souls looking for God under every rock and crystal. They believe every life’s challenges are someone else’s fault and someone else’s duty to resolve.

They are spoiled and arrogant with no sense of respect. Yes, we as parents have given them this legacy. Tragically, they cannot arrive at any truth that there is something greater than they are.

My early spiritual training was a little rough around the edges. Yet, at least there was something there-a foundation on which to build my spiritual life.

I was given a sense of divinity and an eye for all things sacred.

When Everton football club was performing poorly, the manager said to his team and players, let’s get back to the basics of football.

Can we prioritise items in our lives and build the rest around that? Let’s go back to the basics, otherwise the house will crumble.

In Kinyarwanda there is an old adage  -  igiti kigororgwa kikiri gito, which can be translated to mean, a tree is given shape when still young.

The author is a teacher at Kagarama secondary school

shebs10@yahoo.com

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