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An alternative to the established Leaving Certificate is the Leaving Certificate Applied Programme (LCA).
The NCCA has recently called for Submissions in relation to a review of the second level State Religious Education course.
This course is an exam subject at Junior and Leaving Certificate and supposed to be for pupils of all religions and none.
In a Background Paper and Brief for the Review of Junior Cycle Religious Education, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment has relegated one of the main human rights issues with regard to the State Religious Education course to a footnote on page 9 of a 47-page document.
In that footnote, the NCCA reveals that there is Catholic faith formation taking place alongside the State Religious Education course that is supposed to be for all religions and none.
The State Religious Education course is simply not inclusive and open to all religions and none. The Catholic Church has control over the hiring of teachers to deliver this course, and also sends in Diocesan Advisors to all schools, including ETB schools and colleges, to ensure that it is delivered according to the teaching of the Catholic Church.
We have a State Religious Education course, an exam subject, which is only suitable for the children from Catholic families.
Within the Diocese there are schools providing students with the opportunity to study Religious Education as a subject for the Leaving Certificate.
RE was examined at this level for the first time in 2005.
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment is not only disregarding the human rights of minorities in Ireland, but is now actively undermining them.
Why would you ignore a significant human rights principle, and only put the fact that faith formation is taking place in the footnotes of a 47-page Document?