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Parent teachers' association undecided over mandatory devotions

Published:Monday | January 19, 2015 | 1:03 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The National Parent Teachers' Association of Jamaica says it has not settled on an official position on whether schools should make it mandatory for students to participate in religious activities.




However, the president of the association, Everton Hannam says he believes that schools should not make it compulsory.



According to him, the plurality of the society alone should make it difficult for schools to have such a stance.



However, Hannam is cautioning that parents and children must take into consideration the school's culture before deciding to attend.



Jamaica's education ministry says it supports schools that make it mandatory for students to attend religious and mainly Christian activities.



About 40 per cent of Jamaica’s schools are either owned or sponsored by a Christian denomination.



Many schools that are not, generally make it mandatory for students to participate in religious exercises.



In an interview with The Gleaner in the soon-to-be-published Online current affairs programme On The Record, education minister, Ronald Thwaites, said despite growing secularism and the intensification of globalisation, Jamaican life is fundamentally based on a Christian heritage.



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