General World-view Education as proposed in an amended Education Act, Victoria
In section 2.2.10 the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 allows for “general religious education” but if ‘religion’ is to be interpreted according to the High Court’s Scientology decision, 1983, a belief in a hypothetical supernatural being, thing or principle, seems to be a big advantage. This excludes some historically important world-views such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism to say nothing of various forms of Hinduism, which has many hypothetical supernatural beings, and also various forms of humanism, which have no hypothetical supernatural forms. (Summaries of some religions and/or world-views are shown in the following sub-menu.) Therefore if strictly observed, “general religious education” in Victorian State schools would be limited to Baha’i, Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. This writer (H.G.) wants the Education Act to be amended to read as follows.
Victorian Government Education Act
2.2.10 Education in Government schools to be secular
(1) Education in Government schools must be secular and not promote any particular religious practice, denomination or sect.
(2) Sub-section (1) does not prevent the inclusion of world-view education in the curriculum of a Government school.
(3) A Government schoolteacher must not provide religious instruction other than in the provision of world-view education in any Government school building.
(4) In this section world-view education means education about the major forms of religious and secular life philosophies thought and expression characteristic of Australian society and other societies in the world.
Repeal section 2.2.11 Special religious instruction
(Note. I think that there is ample provision in the Act and regulations for school councils to authorise the delivery of special religious instruction outside of normal school hours, as occurs in the A.C.T., and also to charge an appropriate rent. – HG)