Why is the State teaching moral education for all students through religion?

The NCCA Religious Education course (an exam subject) contributes to the moral education of ALL students through religion.

Students are not offered another subject if opted out. Some schools make the course compulsory. This is religious discrimination. Why does the state even want to contribute to the moral education of students from non-religious families through religion?

This State Religion course does not respect the right of non-religious families to ensure that the teaching of their children is in conformity with their convictions.

The NCCA Agreement for the Junior Certificate Religious Education syllabus states that:

“Religious Education makes a significant contribution to a curriculum which seeks to provide for the moral development of students. It introduces a variety of ethical codes and norms for behaviour. Students are encouraged to engage critically with these moral systems in an effort to arrive at a thought – through moral stance which will serve as a foundation for the decisions they will face as adults and for the patterns of behaviour and commitment which will make how they will relate to their local communities and to the world in general.”

You can access that Document here.

The NCCA Religious Education course only acknowledges the non-religious interpretation of life.

Article 42.3.2 of the Constitution states that:

“The State shall, however, as guardian of the common good, require in view of actual conditions, that the children receive a certain minimum education, moral, intellectual and social”

As you will note, the Constitution does not say that the State is obliged to ensure that ALL children receive a moral education through religious education. The Constitution purposefully leaves out religious education from the types of education that the State is obliged to ensure that children receive.

The NCCA, the Department of Education and successive Ministers of Education along with the TUI have no issue with disrespecting the right of non-religious parents and their children.


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