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On why  Catholicism is the "Religion of Death" and how we need to change our education system by Claude Mills

On why Catholicism is the "Religion of Death" and how we need to change our education system by Claude Mills Featured

Press Release Written by  Wednesday, 09 August 2017 08:00 font size decrease font size increase font size 0
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  My nine year-old son, Chase, recently did a Religious Education exam. One of the questions asked: Which religion did the Spaniards introduce to the Tainos? He wrote with supreme, incredible confidence that all nine year olds possess: “The type of religion that the Spaniards brought to the Tainos is the (drum roll please)....“Religion of Death”.
 
Why I asked? He said the Spaniards came and worked the Tainos to death. 
 
"They killed all of them, every last one. When was the last time you saw a Taino on the road or in the supermarket?" Chase asked. 
 
Of course, Chase got the question wrong, but he made his point. The Spanish were nothing more than second-rate conquistadores who came seeking gold and finding none, visited terrible excesses on the native population. You gotta love kids like Chase. He is not afraid to be wrong, even if he doesn't know the right answer, he will give it a go. 
 
While he is a laugh riot, I was perturbed why he didn't know the right answer for that question. At times I feel somehow that I am failing my son. He hates school, and despises home work. He believes that the best thing you can do with homework is to get less of it. 
 
But I force him to do extra work, and push him to read by buying him books and quizzing him about them. I teach him algebra, I force him to learn and spell new words, but I am no teacher. How do I make the material sing to him? Inspire him?  I am yet to find an area or subject that speaks to the inner core of who he is or who he wants to be.
 
Questions haunt me. How can I inspire him? How can I direct him towards his true North? Or is he doomed to do trudge along through a broken school system populated by teachers who endure and survive rather inspire and persevere. But what can you do as a parent? My son is going to be a part of guinea pig generation, the first batch of kids who will sit the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) test in 2019, and boy am I worried!  
 
It was announced that the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) scores for 2017 showed “notable improvement” over last year. Mathematics, which has previously been on the decline, surged 4.2 percentage points to 62.4 per cent; Language Arts vaulted 4.4 percentage points to 72.8 per cent; Communication Task jumped 4.2 percentage points to 76.2 per cent; and Social Studies inched from 68.9 per cent in 2016 to 70.6 per cent this year.
 
The subject of Science had incremental increases in student performance from 2014 to 2016, but nosedived 4.5 percentage points this year, from 69.2 per cent to 64.7 per cent.
 
Hardly stellar figures but c'est la vie. Now, the GSAT is scheduled to be replaced by the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) in the academic year 2018/2019. This news does not put the pep in my step, by any stretch of the imagination. 
 
The experts say that PEP will not be based on memory or regurgitation but will be geared far more towards testing critical skills and mental ability. It will encourage the students to do more inquiry and expression. 
 
I think that it is a bunch of BS served by the conservative craniums who dictate our education system. For years, we have had streaming, standardised tests and a commitment towards blind conformity. We have tested our children for years based on what they know across a narrow range of achievement. But what about those kids who are not inspired by algebra, or able to regurgitate information in which they have no interest, like how a convex lens works or the nature of sedimentary rocks? How do we make the material sing to them, and resonate with their true selves?
 
We need to rethink the fundamental principles on which we educate our children. We need to begin to see children for the hope they are, and to educate their whole being instead of trying to educate them for "the future", a nebulous idea of what the world will be in a few years, a future, most of us adults we will not even see, So tell me then how must we ensure that our kids will be ready for it? 
 
The idea that I am getting is that kids are not afraid to be wrong. They have the gift of the human imagination, and we must find a way to mould that gift without extinguishing that spark. Let’s take a chance, step out on a limb, try something new, we might surprise ourselves and in that moment, real change happens...and voila, we have real learning. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Read 367 times Last modified on Wednesday, 09 August 2017 08:00

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