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CONTENTS

HOW THE VALUES IN THE CONSTITUTION ARE EXPRESSED IN THE VALUES OF


THE NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION_______ _______ page 2-3

HOW THE NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION GUIDES THE


APPLICATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL VALUES IN THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT.
GIVE EXAMPLES FROM THE POLICY TO SUPPORT YOUR ANSWER__ __page 4-5

TWO ISSUES THAT RELATE TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND/OR RELIGIOUS


EXPRESSION THAT MAY ARISE IN A SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT______ ___ page 6

HOW THE ABOVE TWO ISSUES SHOULD BE DEALT WITH ACCORDING TO THE
NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION______________ ____ page 6-8

BIBLIOGRAPHY___________________________________________________ page 9

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EDT303Q- ASSIGNMENT 02
1) HOW THE VALUES IN THE CONSTITUTION ARE EXPRESSED IN THE
VALUES OF THE NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION

Freedom of religion is considered to be one of the most important human rights.


Everyone therefore has the right to follow a religion they wish to and are free
from religious coercions that might be implied by the state. We at the same time
have the responsibility to respect other peoples beliefs, religions and opinions.
Section 31 of the constitution provides individuals with the right to enjoy their
culture and practice their religion. Section 6 of the constitution also grants every
individual the right to make use of language that he/she wishes. The constitution
therefore safeguards individuals rights.

The values are expressed in the National Policy on Religion and Education as
follows:
Respect for equality- this policy as well as schools and the community
must all aim to respect and value all cultures and traditions. We must all
unite and form relationships based on understanding and equal treatment
of religions. No one is to be discriminated on the bases of race or culture.
Just like the policy, the constitution states that all people are equal and
they must therefore be treated equally.

Tolerance- we must learn to tolerate each other and individual


differences. As citizens of a country we should adapt to other religions and
we should learn to tolerate the different religions of the world by showing
signs of understanding and acceptance. The constitution also states that
the government and citizens must respect the dignity of all people

Respect for diversity- every individual is unique and the policy thus aims
to educate people of the different religions. Schools and higher
educational institutions are therefore responsible for promoting multi-
religious knowledge. This means that people must acknowledge diversity
and appreciate all other religions.

Respect for openness- every individual have the right to freedom of


speech and to follow a religion of their choice. Schools and the society
must therefore encourage pupils to develop on their confidence and be
more open about themselves and beliefs. We should therefore respect
every individuals expression of ideas or information of their religion. We
should therefore abstain from forcing others to follow a particular belief or
religion. The constitution (bill of rights), like the policy makes mention that
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everyone, including the press may write or print photographs of whatever
they want, provided they do dont break the law. The Policy on Religion
and Education therefore stresses that individuals should be given the right
to express their religion and opinions about other religions while ensuring
respect.

Social honour- we should continuously honour learners cultural and


religious backgrounds. At the same time we should abstain from allowing
learners to belittle or criticize any religion whether it is done openly or in
secret. Educational institutions should always aim to develop learners who
see every religion as equals despite them following one religion. The
constitution (bill of rights) thus makes mention that you have the right to
live anywhere you want in South Africa.

The South Africans schools Act (Act 94 OF 1996) upholds the constitutional
rights of all citizens to freedom of religion, thought, belief and opinion.(National
Policy on Religion and Education: article 13). The Policy therefore aims to
ensure that individual rights of citizens are met by ensuring that schools provide
and teach learners about the various religions and religious activities.

Education about the different religions is very important. The constitution has set
a fixed amount of values and rights of individuals. These values are expressed in
the National Policy on Religion and Education for its main purpose i.e.to make
learners, educators, and members of the community aware that respect and
honouring other cultures and traditions is of utmost importance. There is
therefore a link between education and religion. The implication for education is
that no learner may be denied educational rights.

The cooperative model provides a framework that is best for education in a


democratic SA. This model protects individuals from religious discrimination and
encourages people to form religious groups whereby they communicate matters
of religious importance. Religion education and knowledge about the constitution
should therefore be taught hand in hand at all schools. Children have rights and
we should therefore respect these and their cultural background.

2) HOW THE NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION GUIDES THE


APPLICATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL VALUES IN THE SCHOOL
ENVIRONMENT. GIVE EXAMPLES FROM THE POLICY TO SUPPORT YOUR
ANSWER

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All schools should familiarize themselves with the National Policy on Religion and
Education. The policy aims to embrace the religious diversity of South Africa.
Religion Education must therefore be taught in a manner that involves all
learners and their cultures. Schools should ensure that teachers are fully
informed about the constitutional and educational principles for understanding
the role of religion.

How Religion Education must be taught

Religion education must be taught in such a way learners acquire the


necessary skills and knowledge that enables one to understand the
different religions.
It should also be taught in a manner that will enable learners to participate
in religious activities.
Religion education should be taught in a way that will lead learners to
becoming more aware of their culture and traditions while at the same
time getting to know and understanding other religions.
It should also be taught in a manner that will enable learners to meet the
outcomes of the curriculum. These outcomes include: listening, reading,
writing and speaking. Learners should be given opportunities to express
their own view about theirs and other religions.

Learners need to be informed about their rights in terms of the constitution. The
constitution makes mention that everyone has the right to use the language and
follow the culture they choose but you must respect other peoples human rights
when doing so. In relation to this, the policy (article 44) states that the learning
area Life Orientation directs that pupils should develop the capacity to respect
the rights of others and to appreciate cultural diversity.

Example: in the intermediate phase, students should begin studying the basic
component phenomena of religion such as stones, songs, rituals and festivals
with illustrations drawn from various religious traditions and communities in South
Africa (National Policy on Religion and Education: article 51).
Learners need to know the importance of respecting and acknowledging
differences. The Policy fosters religious diversity by demanding that all schools
must create an environment that engenders a sense of acceptance, security and
respect for pupils with different values and religious traditions (National Policy
on Religion and Education: article 30).The school environment is the best suited
place where education on the Policy can be supplied. The Policy also fosters
religious diversity by demanding that teaching of Religion Education requires

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committed, dedicated staffs that are registered with SACE (South African Council
of Educators). The teachers then communicate to learners the issue on diversity,
tolerance and respect of linguistic and cultural differences. While teaching
learners about the different religions, teachers should ensure that individuals are
protected from stereotype and denigration (criticizing of other religions openly or
in secrecy)
Example: the school environment should ensure that teachers understand the
impact of class, race, gender and other identity forming forces in learning. They
should also be aware of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (National Policy
on Religion and Education: article 36).

Section 29 Chapter 2 of the constitution deals specifically with the right to


education. Everyone has the right to establish at their own expense independent
educational institutions that: a) do not discriminate on the basis of race b) are
registered with the state c) maintain standards that are not inferior to standards
at comparable public educational institutions. Schools are therefore required to
achieve the minimum outcomes for Religion Education. Religion Education
should entail teaching learners about all religions- its beliefs, doctrines, rituals
and customs.

If learners are taught about the different religions, they will come to know that all
religions are different but they have common values such as truth, kindness,
sacrifice, respect of elders, there is only one God but His name may be different,
love and affection. Learners will form an understanding of cultures and will
therefore learn to respect and tolerate differences. Religion education will then
contribute towards creating an informed community that affirms unity in diversity.

3) TWO ISSUES THAT RELATE TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND/OR


RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION THAT MAY ARISE IN A SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT

Issue 01

Bright Sparks Primary School is a well known school for its acceptance of all
children of different races and cultures. There are however issues that has come
to the attention of the school principal as well as the SGB. One of the teachers in
the school does not discharge of respect to all cultures. A school child reports
Mrs. Anna imposes her religious beliefs to the class. She doesnt accept
learners who practice other religions besides her own. This is amongst many

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issues that may appear in the school environment which then relates to religious
freedom. Children have the right to follow a religion they want and the
responsibility to respect other religions. The issue of the teacher wanting to
practice one religion is therefore depriving learners of their rights as citizens of
this country.

Issue 02

Schools consist of children from various religions; some are Muslims, some
Hindus, and some are Christians. In most schools across the globe, the school
environment is sometimes used as a place where religions have some sort of
activities. During a school year they therefore have religious observations on
certain days and this result to students not attending class for those specified
days. In a school environment an issue may arise whereby the school only has
religious observations from one faith.

4) HOW THE ABOVE TWO ISSUES SHOULD BE DEALT WITH ACCORDING TO


THE NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION

Imposing religious beliefs to the class


Dealing with the issue

Religion education aims to equip learners knowledge about the different


religions. We as teachers should therefore tolerate and respect all religions. This
will result in a great understanding amongst us. In the Policy, the government
takes responsibility in ensuring that the rights of citizens are met. The Policy also
makes mention that schools must provide learners with knowledge about all
religions and its activities. This will result in learners tolerating others and
therefore a unified school environment. The Policy also states that schools must
abstain from adopting a particular religion. All teachers must respond to and
value other religions. According to the Policy, the case where the teacher
imposes her religious beliefs to the class can be stopped by: the schools creating
an awareness of all religions in a manner that results to an increase in
understanding as well as respect for diversity. Teachers should adopt a
multicultural approach to the study of the different religions.

Regarding this issue, the Policy also states that schools as well as teachers
should not promote a single religion. It is their responsibility to provide learners
with religious diversity and common humanity. This issue can also be avoided by

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advocating a broad based range of religions activities in the school (National
Policy on Religion and Education: article 2)

The Policy also informs us that no educator has the right to discriminate learners
on the bases of their religion. The school environment comes face to face with
many members of the community and therefore schools and teachers should aim
to create a rainbow nation amongst one another. This can only be achieved
through respect and being literate of other cultures. The educator should also
abstain from stereotyping other religions. Teachers must put that little effort to
know students and their cultural backgrounds. The Policy says that: schools
should inform educators of how important it is that they show appreciation to
differences and acknowledge learner differences.

The Policy also states that religion education must be taught within a framework
of inclusivity. The Policy therefore informs schools that teachers must inherit the
concept of unity and respect for learner diversity. Learners are entitled to their
own religion but at the same time must treat and understand other religions of the
world. The teachers must be constantly aware of how their attitudes towards
other religions have an effect on learners.

The Policy therefore concludes that guidelines and resources should be made
available to assist teachers in dealing with issues of religion in the classroom.
(National Policy on Religion and Education: article 37)

Religious observations from one faith


Dealing with the issue

Every learner forms part of the citizens of SA. They therefore have rights and are
entitled to their own opinion. Schools therefore are responsible for allowing
learners to excuse themselves from religious observations. The Policy states
that no learners may be forced to be part of assemblies where religious
observances are held. Schools cannot force children to take part in any activities
that will be performed at religious observations of a religion they dont belong to.

However, the Policy also states that schools should accept and tolerate all
religions and their religious activities. Schools should allow learners and
members of the community to make use of their facilities for religious
observances. These facilities should be made available for religious observations

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of all faiths. The SGB should determine the nature and content of religious
observances for teachers and pupils.

The Policy also makes mention that when a religious observance is organized
as an official part of the school day, it must accommodate and reflect the multi-
religious nature of the country in an appropriate manner (National Policy on
Religion and Education: article 61).

Religious observances include:

Voluntary occasions when the school community gather for a religious


observance
Observances held in a voluntary gathering of learners or teachers during a
school break

The Policy states that schools should provide opportunities for observance of all
faiths. The above issue can therefore be dealt by the school communicating this
Policy to staff members in order to gain a thorough understanding of learners
rights with regard to religions. The school therefore has a responsibility to abiding
to the rules stipulated in the policy with regard to religious observations from all
faiths. Article 9 of the Human Rights Act guarantees the right for everyone to
show their religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
Schools should therefore not violate this right. When schools plan religious
observations, they should not only focus on one faith but consider the other faiths
as well.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Tutorial letter 102: Religion Education: UNISA

National Policy on Religion and Education: 2003

Http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/the-human-rights-act/the-convention-
rights/article-9-freedom-of-thought-conscience-and-religion.html

http://www.westerncape.gov.za/legislation/bill-rights-chapter-2-constitution-
republic-south-africa#31

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