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NerdyKeith's avatar

What is your opinion of Catholics still getting special treatment for primary education in Ireland?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5464points) April 20th, 2016

I’m not sure who is mostly to blame here. On one hand the Catholic Church should not have authority in education as its not heir area of expertise. While the government should be ensuring that the vast majority of schools have no religious affiliation.

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20 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

What is the school system like in Ireland? Is it “public” (paid for by taxpayer funds) like in the U.S.? Do you have a link that would explain it? I honestly have no idea.
And, has anything changed in the last 6 months since that article?

elbanditoroso's avatar

The education system in Ireland is so off my radar (living in the US) that this particular issue is meaningless to me.

I can say that in the US, there has been (for 100+ years) a parallel K-12 education system run by the Catholics that, in terms of quality, has been as good or better than most public schools. So the idea of Catholics running an education system well is proven, at least here in the US.

As for the religious test for admission: the question is: is there a public alternative? If there is, then the Catholic schools are legally able to make those choices (whether they should or not is a different question). In the US, where there is public education available everywhere, Catholic schools had similar requirements.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@canidmajor The education system in Ireland is Catholic schools that are legally defined as public schools. Yes these schools do receive government funding from the board of education.

JLeslie's avatar

In the US the Catholic schools generally are good quality. NonCatholics do attend them sometimes. Sometimes the Catholic school is perceived as the best school in the area, or a particular child might not be fairing well in public school so the parents might try a private school, even a Catholic school, even when their children aren’t Catholic.

I don’t want my tax dollars going to Catholic schools for two reasons, if they were funded by the government there would be more of them, and the whole Catholic thing might be different in America if they gained more “power” through education. The other reason is the more pressing reason, if we give tax money to a Catholic schools, we have to give it to all the religious schools. No thanks. I would consider sending my Jewish kids to Catholic school, I really would not be comfortable sending my kids to a Baptist school.

Do the Catholic schools get preferential treatment for monies by the Irish government? Or, is it just that the Catholic schools have been there forever and just still get money like always? Ireland would need a change in policy to change it. In America we would need a change in policy to give Catholic schools public money.

Stinley's avatar

The Irish church and government should look to France. It’s a country which is as devout as Ireland but there is complete separation of church and state. The government and the people defend this state of affairs as an absolute inviolable law. If you want your child to attend a religious school, you have to choose a private school.

The UK should also do this. I absolutely hate that my children go/went to a school which is given some funding by the Church of England and that this allows the teaching of these beliefs as truths. I choose not to send them to another school and let them take part in the prayers and church services because we live in a small community and the school is part of the community. I don’t want them to feel different or ostracised. I also talk about religion at home and give them alternative points of view.

canidmajor's avatar

@NerdyKeith: thanks for the explanation. In that case, I think it’s a shame that the Church still has so much power over government funds. I gather, from other things I have read, that you guys are a ways away from any kind of “separation of church and state” thing the we (used to?) have going on here.
I think it’s unfair that they are demanding that children be baptized before being registered at school, but as it’s not something that physically damages the child (as, say circumcision) at least the parents have the option to do this, for the purposes of educational opportunity, as a sham ceremony. It sucks, but options exist.

Irukandji's avatar

It’s unfortunate, but at least the money is going towards educating children. To be honest, I’m more worried about how much power the Catholic Church has over hospitals in Ireland.

GSLeader's avatar

The government should get out of education entirely and leave it in the hands of experts, not beaurucrats. I’d assume send my kid to a private school over public. Good for Ireland for putting children first!

Irukandji's avatar

@GSLeader If you really trust the experts, then you should support public education—because that’s what education experts support. Also, don’t be fooled by the hype over private schools. It’s easy to have good results when you’re allowed to select only students who are likely to do well.

JLeslie's avatar

@GSLeader Are you saying the religions are better at education?

As far as I can tell the countries that have the best education have strong government provided, public, education. I have yet to find a country that leaves it only up to the private sector to have an all over educated population and prosperous nation.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I much rather not have my kids in government schools. Parochial schools are a much better option in my opinion.

GSLeader's avatar

My kid is in a failing public school. I wish I could afford to enroll her into a private school, but in this economy it will have to remain a dream for now.

JLeslie's avatar

@MollyMcGuire Do you want the government funding your parochial school?

@GSLeader The places I have lived that have a high ratio of private schools usually have crappier public schools. It’s a vicious cycle. When there are more private schools there is a lack of attention paid to the public schools by the citizenry with the most money, education, and influence. Private school enrollment goes up when the public schools are deteriorating. Chicken or egg scenario.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@JLeslie No. The schools my children attended didn’t accept it.

JLeslie's avatar

@MollyMcGuire What country are you in?

Irukandji's avatar

Parochial schools are only “better” in terms of a specific set of outcomes, and they are only “better” in those respects because they have the privilege of accepting or rejecting students for whatever reason they wish. Harvard pumps out a majority of high earners because it only accepts people who are likely to be high earners anyway (meaning that everyone who isn’t a high earner should be seen as a failure on the part of the school, but instead we just focus on all the students who managed to perform as the statistics said they would). Public schools have a pretty good success rate considering the fact that they have to take everyone and have fewer resources with which to do their jobs. Now imagine if we weren’t siphoning off resources just because certain people don’t know how to interpret statistics (which isn’t the public schools’ fault because that’s a college subject).

JLeslie's avatar

@MollyMcGuire Are you saying the schools were offered government money? Is that part of that change Bush did where government money can go to religious organizations? As far as I knew we still didn’t give government money to religious schools, but I guess I was wrong by what you wrote.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@JLeslie You read something I didn’t write. I didn’t say my kids went to parochial schools. I said parochial schools are a better option than government school. I live in a suburb (incorporated) of a large city. We have our own school system but do not accept Federal money. If I lived in any other jurisdiction, my kids would be in Catholic school.

JLeslie's avatar

I see. Thanks for the clarification.

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