ALMOST three-quarters of teachers questioned in a new survey
believe that the education system can play a bigger part in
resolving interreligious and ethnic strife. They think that it
could help to improve the behaviour of the next generation of
British society towards problems both in the UK and overseas, an
online survey by YouGov for the Bible Society found.
The survey of 795 teachers in schools in England and Wales also
found that two in five (42 per cent) think that teaching religious
and sacred texts in more of the school curriculum would improve
their students' cross-cultural understanding of minority
Almost half said that the Bible and other sacred texts should be
included in personal, social, health, and economic education
(PSHE); 46 per cent in citizenship; and more than a quarter in
history classes. Almost a third thought that it would improve
students' general social development. Four per cent thought that
there was no place for such teachings in school.
The group chief executive of the Bible Society, James Catford,
said: "Understanding religion is essential to understanding and
engaging in the modern world. It's not surprising that teachers
support giving space to sacred texts in the classroom. Engaging
with the Bible is essential to a good education. The Bible has not
only shaped our politics, art, literature, and music, it also helps
change the lives of individuals and societies.
"We believe that every child has the right to encounter the
Bible. We must work together to break down the barriers that
prevent us from passing on the Bible in our schools for the benefit
of future generations."
A separate YouGov poll for the Bible Society of 566 children,
aged between eight and 15, found that almost two-thirds thought it
important to know about different religions, but a number had a
negative view of those who were religious, or who were from a
different religion from theirs.
In a debate on the findings organised by the Bible Society this
week at the House of Commons, a panel of Muslim, Jewish, Christian,
and Humanist representatives agreed that religious education could
have a positive impact on community cohesion.