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Australia is not alone is battling with sectarian education. Scotland are confronted with open sectarian warfare in Glascow and its surrounds on the soccer front. As a result there have been calls for the withdrawal of State Aid to "faith schools". Not surprisingly the Bishops and Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church demand State Aid on their own terms absolutely.

In an attempt to bring children together proposals for "shared facilities" have been made. Our readers would be aware that DOGS oppose "shared facilities" in Australia because that is what public education is about - bringing children together without religious overlords. But in Scotland the Roman Catholic Church has gone on the offensive.

The idea of a joint campus for Catholics and community schools in Scotland seemed like a genuine attempt to break down the sectarian barriers that have plagued much of the country.

But the whole idea turned into a farce when Roman Catholics insisted that they have a separate opening ceremony. Surprise! Surprise!

The $5 million St Andrews and Cumbernauld primaries are housed under one roof with shared PE and dining facilities. The idea is to allow children from different communities to spend part of the day together in an attempt to break down religious barriers.

A non-denominational opening ceremony was held and attended by officials from North Lanarkshire Council, but the Roman Catholic Church held it sown opening ceremony two days later, attended by Archbishop Mario Conti.

Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society, was quoted in the Glasgow Evening Times as saying:

" It is disappointing the opportunity has not been taken to unite the community...even this minor effort to break down sectarian boundaries is only a cosmetic exercise, and the Catholic Church will go to almost any lengths to hold on to its schools in Scotland. Far from challenging religious division, this school seems to have started off by encouraging it."

If you want to read more about the Scottish situation you will find it on the National Secular website at :




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Last modified:Monday, 25 April 2005