RELIGIOUS Education should be a compulsory subject in the school system, says the Chief Secretary to Government, Ambassador Isaac Lupari.
Amb Lupari made this statement when addressing the heads of government agencies at a recent departmental heads meeting in Port Moresby.
“If we are going to address law and order, social ills, decline in ethical standard, decline in morality, increase in domestic drug abuse and so forth, in a serious manner, we must introduce Religious Education as a compulsory subject in our school system,” he said.
“What we are doing today, will not address the root cause of these social problems in the country.
“The root causes are lack of discipline and respect for our culture and respect for our laws.
“How do we address these causes?
“Religious Education is one of the only viable solutions.
“We are a Christian country and Christianity is defined in our Constitution.
“Yet this is not translated or embraced in our education and work place systems.
“If we introduce or make Religious Education as a compulsory subject such as science and maths, we will produce educated population based on discipline, respect, integrity and value for each other.
“The impact on our society will be positive. We will have lesser social ills, law & order problems and more importantly increase in economic prosperity.
“I am really happy that the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has seen the merits of Religious Education and directed us to work together with all stakeholders to develop the Religious Education program.
“The tentative plan is to install the Religious Education as core subject in our school system from grade one to grade 12 commencing 2019.
“I will be working closely with all relevant stakeholders including departments of Education, Community Development & Religion and Higher Education to give priority to this policy agenda.”
Amb Lupari said look at the experiences of other countries around the world when they institutionalized Religious Education into their education system and work place. They have a disciplined population, self-respect for one and other, integrity, and respect for laws, peace and harmony in their communities.
“As a result, they have witnessed high economic growth, social order, law & order and improvement on the quality of lives of the people.
“PNG will achieve the same results if we adopt the Religious Education as a compulsory subject.
“I encourage all my colleagues and other stakeholders to develop this policy and have Religious Education become a core subject in our education system.
“Let’s all work together to develop this policy and hence it is implemented in our school system by 2019.”