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The Compulsory Nature of Elementary and Secondary Religion Course and Programs – APO003 2017-06-23T17:17:48+00:00

The Compulsory Nature of Elementary and Secondary Religion Course and Programs – APO003

Reviewed/Revised: September 2004

PURPOSE

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board is committed to the delivery of Catholic education to all of the students enrolled in its schools. Religious Education forms an essential part of that delivery, and therefore, requires its students to participate in the faith-life of the school, including courses in Religious Education; Religious Education is designed to promote a religious literacy that assists students in the task of becoming life-long learners in relation to the religious dimension of human experience within a multireligious society. It is also designed to assist in the process of ethical and moral formation within a culture that all too often fails to recognize the centrality of the human person and the importance of ethical norms. Religious education must be pursued with sensitivity to the freedom and responsibility of students, to the practical and social conditions in which students live, and to the historical times that influence these conditions. (Ontario Catholic Secondary Curriculum Policy Document, 1999) Catholic parents send their children to Catholic schools with certain expectations. The overriding expectation is that their daughter/son will experience education permeated with religious values, religious instruction and be invited to participate in the sacramental life of the church. They also expect that Catholic values will be held, modeled, expressed and taught within the Catholic educational community. The three basic means by which separate school boards provide Catholic education are:
i) by developing each school as a Christian community in all of its academic and non-academic activities;
ii) by providing qualified teachers, supervisory officers and other personnel who are committed to building a Christian community in the school system; and
iii) by providing academic curricula, including formal religious instruction, in which Catholic faith andlife are integrated (Catholic Education and Separate School Boards in Ontario, published in April 1988 by the Completion Office – Separate Schools)
It is also critical that “Religious Education is based upon strategies for presenting theology to young people in a way that is appropriate to their age and ability and sensitive to their freedom and responsibility, and to the affective and personal dimensions of students’ lived experiences.” (The Status of Religious Education Courses in Catholic High Schools, I.C.E. , 1999 )

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