Tuesday, 25 October 2005

No proselytisation allowed in schools

http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/forum/2005/20051025a.htm
by MOE (25 Oct 2005)

  1. A recent ST Insight article (“Say Aaah...men”, 15 Oct) discussed the issue of proselytisation.
  2. Any form of proselytisation to students is strictly not allowed in our schools, including both government and mission schools. Schools will take action against any teacher found to have engaged in proselytisation.
  3. The article cited the case of a National Junior College physics lecturer who invited his class to a Christmas party and prayed over them, and who attached Christian sayings to his lecture notes. The Principal has warned the lecturer and counselled him. The lecturer is remorseful about his actions.
  4. If parents have any concerns regarding any actions involving their children being encouraged to join a religion other than their own, I encourage them to approach the school.
  5. Geraldine Chay Mei Fong (“Not true that all schools are secular”, ST Forum, 14 Oct 05) had pointed out that religious values are imparted in mission schools. She supported the practice of mission schools, and felt that parents who want a secular education for their children should send them to government schools.
  6. Mission schools follow clear rules. While they can conduct prayers, religious classes and chapel services or mass, these must be optional. Mission schools cannot compel any student to participate in any religious activity against the student’s wish. Students are allowed to withdraw from any such activity if they are uncomfortable with participating in it, or if requested by their parents.
  7. Further, attendance in any such activity cannot be a condition for students to be admitted to the school. The time used for these activities must also be in addition to that required for the schools to cover the subjects in the regular MOE curriculum.
  8. It is in schools that children of different backgrounds build bonds and develop shared aspirations as Singaporeans. We encourage parents and schools to work together to ensure that we sustain the strong social cohesion that we have built so far.

Wong Siew Hoong
Director of Schools
Ministry of Education

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