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Religion has long history in schools

Posted on December 17, 2013 by Taber Times

As I was Googling, I ran across a little history of Alberta schools. The Protestant and the Roman Catholic churches established Alberta’s first schools in the 1840s. Since the 1840s the Catholic system has for the most part kept the same focus, permeating the Catholic faith in all learning.

For the Protestants, the system developed differently. The Protestant faith and practice stems from the Reformation, started with Martin Luther in 1529. Canadian Confederation was born in 1867. And Canada was settled with immigrants, mainly from England and continental Europe. Most of these people had a Catholic, or Protestant, background, and so they practised their faith in their new land. And so their faith permeated the school curriculum. As even today we find the preamble of the Canadian Constitution states “Canada is founded on principles that recognize God and the rule of law.”

However, between 1840 and 2013 there has been a real shift. There is a sizable portion of the Canadian population who focus more on the secular humanistic side, and no longer feel comfortable with a Christian-based curriculum in the public schools. As a result the public schools are no longer based on the Christian faith. As we now see, for example, even the Christmas programs for the most part have become holiday performances.

So now I am so thankful that the Alberta government has given us a choice, by funding charter schools. Funding not to the full extent of the public system, as the charter schools own their own buildings, and carry that cost over and above the school taxes that the charter school people pay over and above for the public school buildings. But it certainly enables those dedicated to Christian education to go forward.

Certainly in the case of Taber, we have been so blessed with the full co-operation of the Taber public school board. As a result, with that and God’s blessing Taber has a thriving school for all who feel the importance of Christian education.

I am so thankful to live in a community where we care for one another, from early childhood to senior care. Thank you to all Taberites who continue to build on that goal. Thankful to be part of the Taber community.


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