Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is afraid of religious diversity

damon_leff_minority_reviewIn a recent Sowetan article, Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi recently explained to reporter Bongekile Macupe that the Gauteng Schools Education Act requires each public school governing body to design its own religious policy and to exclude harmful religions. This is completely incorrect and prejudicial!

“I had a religious forum and everyone is invited. They were also in that meeting and asked that we allow them to also practice their religion in our schools,” he said. Sowetan understands that the groups who go by the names of Pagans and Vampires also approached the previous MEC for education Barbara Creecy with the same request. Lesufi said the groups requested that they be allowed to practice and recruit pupils. “Because of the risk and the danger involved, I declined. But I agreed to a one-on-one meeting with them and I’m going to meet them when the schools reopen,” he said. […]  Lesufi said since taking office in May he had distributed religious documents at schools for the spiritual upliftment of pupils. He said he gave a mandate to his team to ensure that each and every classroom has a religious text. He said 41000 Bibles have been distributed to schools across the province, as well as other religious books such as the Koran. Lesufi said he did not understand why there was a Bible in [almost] each hotel room but there was no Bible in each classroom.

SOURCE: Satanists call for rights – Groups want to work in schools
By Bongekile Macupe Education Reporter | Oct 04, 2014—groups-want-to-work-in-schools


Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi

Public schools are neither Christian nor religious schools, they are secular schools in which diverse religions are legally permitted to be taught in Life Orientation classes in a non-partisan way only! That includes Occult religions such as Paganism, Witchcraft and Satanism, none of which may legally be classified by MEC Lesufi or the Department of Education as “harmful religions”!

Lesufi’s statement and the Department’s position on so-called harmful religions amounts to discrimination against religious diversity and targeted Occult minority religions. By distributing Bibles and Christian education material in public schools, whilst deliberately prohibiting alternative Occult religious minorities from equally promoting their own faiths in the same schools, Lesufi and the Department of Education are continuing to reinforce the false notion that public schools in this country are Christian schools. I must repeat, public schools in South Africa are neither religious nor Christian schools, and they may not exclude members of other faiths from being educated in said schools.

No South African legislation provides any public school the right to exclude any child based on his or her personal religion or belief system. School governing bodies and educators however continue in practice to not only enforce a Christian education ethos in public schools at the expense of religious diversity, in contravention of existing National Policy on Education and Religion. they also continue to exclude pupils from schools because of their religious or rumored religious difference. South African children are being scapegoated and victimized because the Department of Education has decided it would rather turn a blind eye to actual past and present incidences of discrimination. Like former MEC Barbara Creecy, Lesufi would rather propagate fear against unknown and unexamined minority religions than embrace religious diversity and equality in public schools.

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