The Humanist Association of Ireland supports the view that education is a foundation for life; education in the widest meaning. Teaching in state-funded schools in all subjects should encourage critical thinking, be objective and pluralistic. It should encourage learning in all forms but mostly it should be inclusive, should develop a respect for learning, for each other and for difference.
In matters of faith the HAI regards teaching as an instrument to teach that people have different ways of seeing the world; it should be possible to do this in an inclusive, philosophical manner, with teachers able to do this without higher regard for one faith over another. People whose views are naturalistic, atheistic and humanistic should have equal time given to their outlook on life.
The HAI is currently running a Baptism Campaign to highlight discrimination in school admissions of unbaptised children.
The HAI has been involved in campaigns over many years to have modules on Humanism included in the Leaving and Junior Certs, to review the Irish patronage system in schools, to amend the proposed National Community Schools which are being piloted so that parents do not have to discuss their beliefs or have their children separated by the system for any religious reason. Submissions made by the HAI include:
- Submission to the Forum on Patronage & Pluralism Primary Sector
- Submission to IHRC Religion and Education
The HAI holds the view that Educate Together is currently the best option for learning together at primary level in Ireland and welcomes the development of Educate Together as patrons of second level schools. In 2015 the HAI is began working directly with Educate Together to create two modules about humanism and other non-religious philosophies for primary school children.
For further information on the HAI and education please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.