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Saturday, October 16, 2010

MULTI-FAITH APPROACH OF TEACHING RELIGIOUS AND MORAL EDUCATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS!

In a society normally we expected to have more than one form of religion practiced. Although their are many societies around the world found to have a single religion ,but some of their members are forced to migrate by one or two of these factors. It is good to promote multi-faith approach as to equip children with all forms of religions which make up the world.
Multi-faith approach refers to the teachings of many religions ,that's drawing moral values from religions for example Christianity,Islamic,Hinduism,Budhaism,Judaism ,African Traditional, Bahai faith or others.
The background of multi-faith approach realised teachings of religious and moral education should consider the world as a multi-faith of nations composed to subscribe to various religons. For example in Zimbabwean society the colonial era education system was only Christianity because many schools built by christian missionaries who condemned other religions in promotion of their own religion.To correct this fatal mistake a number of approaches were needed to be employed in the moral education policy inorder to produce a multi-cultural oriented people through adopting multi-faith approach in the primary educational system.
The rationality for the adoption of multi-faith approach is to understand world as a multi-faith and egalitarian society.Therefore it is vital to treat religions as equal by helping the learning children to know about other religions as they are likely to encounter them. So that they understand the religious difference and appreciate the similarities.
Pupils should developed the attitudes of respecting those whose beliefs differ from theirs,hence developing a spirit of tolerance and co-operation as they are co-habiting in the world of religious diverse.This broadens their minds ,instills confidence and develops a sense of worth and belonging. An open approach which accepts mankinds as given by their religious practices and pupils have the opportunity to explore various religions and have a much deeper understanding of their own religion and morals.
When applying the multi-faith approach the teacher is expected to make use of different religions in teachings of different people. The teaching concepts for example 'caring' is found in all religions ,the christians use the parable of a 'good Samaritan' who helped a robbed Jewish person lying by the side of the road and took him to the clinic, Islam has 'armsgiving where sharing with the need the items like money ,clothes ,food ,accommodation etc. And African Traditional Religion the shona people in particular believe in inheritence 'nhaka' which emphasises caring for the family of the deceased.
The sources of matter as references like the sacred records the bible,qu,rãn and other different faith scriptural books and pamphlets which should not be used as historical texts ,but as to teach moral values.Rituals and ceremonies must be used for pupils to understand the benefits and interactions believers get from them.
The full knowledge of the facts in the specific religion,faith or ceremony is more beneficial for learning angles of moral values and what might pupils drawn from the lessons.
Inconclusion the teacher should not indoctrinate pupils with specific religious ideas or convert pupils to his/her own religon or any form of bias to any religion.

Further reading
Cox ,E.(1983)Problems and Possibilities for Religious Education .

Haar,G.T(1982) Faith of our Forefathers Studies on Religious Education in Sub -Saharan Africa.

Manonge and Mukandatsama (1990)Religious and Moral Education :A handbook for student teachers.

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