Indonesia wants to teach more religion in schools at the expense of science.

Jan 15 2013 Published by under Potpourri

In response to an increase in religiously-motivated violence, the Indonesian government wants to devote more time to teaching religion in it's elementary the expense of science.

Millions of children in Indonesian elementary schools may no longer have separate science classes starting in June, the beginning of their next school year, if the government approves a curriculum overhaul that would merge science and social studies with other classes so more time can be devoted to religious education.

The argument here being that with more religious instruction comes increased morality.

First, as Asia's fastest growing economy, science education might kinda-sorta be important to Indonesia's future success. You know, the type of success that might alleviate some of the conditions that lead to violence in the first place. Second, according to education experts quoted in the article, the overall education system in Indonesia needs an overhaul.

As it is in Indonesia, religion "is taught to students according to their own faiths, meaning that Muslim students are instructed in Islam, while Christian students study Christianity in separate classes." Do they receive inter-faith education as well? And what would more religious education look like? Would it be the type of education that stresses religious tolerance or the "we're right and those guys next door are wrong" variety?


3 responses so far

  • Potnia Theron says:

    Few people remember, but the horrific battles in East Timor where largely religious wars. The now independent country of ET is largely catholic and speaks Portuguese. Indonesia invaded several times with attempts to bring ET into Indonesia. There are claims and counter claims of communism (really). Meantime, the usual suspects (children, non-combatants) were the ones who suffered. What has happened in Irian Jaya (the western half of the island of New Guinea) is also fairly outrageous, but little reported. It's not even that the native Papuans have been thoroughly dominated, its that as happened in other Indonesian islands the people from Java have been forcibly relocated, and become an increasing majority in some of the most beautiful, but overused and depleted lands on earth.

    • AmasianV says:

      I'm largely ignorant of the conflict between East Timor and Indonesia. Were these in actuality "religious" wars? Or wars where the two countries happened to be different religions?

  • Unfortunately, this looks like a politically motivated agenda peddled by religious right wing groups. By the time this generation of children grow up, they will have fallen well behind their counterparts in China, Japan, Korea and India.

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