Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Indonesia Entering The Dark Ages?

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.

Officials who back the changes say that more religious instruction is needed because a lack of moral development has led to an increase in violence and vandalism among youths, and that could fuel social unrest and corruption in the future.

Indonesia is a Muslim-majority country with a secular government that recognizes the rights of six different faiths, including Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism.

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. Reflecting the country’s demographics, most religious instruction is Islamic.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs, which advises the Education Ministry, is proposing that religious education be increased to four hours a week from two. It will remain a compulsory subject, along with mathematics, arts and crafts, physical education, Indonesian language and civics.

More At NY Times Article - Indonesia Science May Give Way to Religion

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