The bedrock for developing a respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is universal public education.
However, since 1977, successive governments in British Columbia have sought to create a two-tiered education system through a public subsidy to independent schools. A majority of these schools are faith based, while others charge prohibitive tuitions. These barriers segregate society along sectarian and socio-economic lines. Further, the Government has a duty to protect the rights of children, recognized under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in religious independent schools. Humanists have also welcomed innovative and experimental forms of education.
Under our call for an end to public funding of independent schools, the British Columbia Humanist Association:
- Supports the principle of public funds for public education;
- Opposes public funding going to faith-based education;
- Joins calls for the phase out of public funding to all independent schools;
- Supports greater innovation within the public education system; and
- Calls on the Government of BC to ensure:
- the religious neutrality of the Office of the Inspector of Independent
- all independent schools meet comparable curriculum standards as public
- students in independent schools are free from discrimination and their
freedoms of religion and expression are protected.
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Join our call for public funds for public education
More than half of British Columbians (51%) strongly oppose "providing taxpayer funds to faith-based private schools that include religious teachings in their curriculum" according to a new poll from Insights West. A total of 69% were opposed with 18% somewhat opposed.
76 (1) All schools and Provincial schools must be conducted on strictly secular and non-sectarian principles. (2) The highest morality must be inculcated, but no religious dogma or creed is to be taught in a school or Provincial school. Since 1876, BC has required schools "be conducted upon strictly secular and non-sectarian principles."...
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Calling the funding contrary to the province's duty of religious neutrality, the BC Humanist Association today called on the province's finance committee to phase out the public funding of private schools in the next provincial budget.
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