Students not brainwashed

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 December, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 December, 1997, 12:00am

I refer to the letter headlined, 'Religious education in schools too narrow' (South China Morning Post, November 10) and would like to express my point of view concerning the subject of religious studies in secondary schools.

Firstly, Christianity is not the only course being taught. What about Buddhist studies? Doesn't that count as a religion? It is a subject that is also made compulsory in many schools in Hong Kong. It should also be noted that many of the schools in Hong Kong are actually, if I can coin a word, 'religious-less'.

If lower-form students were so immature as to be brainwashed by whatever the teacher says, how sensible is it to give them the freedom of choice about what they think they want to learn? Or why not even let them choose their stream in lower forms so they won't have to study the other subjects that they hate? According to the writer, making a student learn what he has no interest in is not an effective approach. Many students, even students in higher forms, hate taking English. Why don't we let the students decide if they want to take it or not? As a Christian and Form Five student myself, I can see that many of my classmates actually enjoy attending religious studies lessons, even though we are not required by our school to take the Certificate of Education exam. Not everyone in my class is a Christian and we all have different points of view on this particular subject, however we are all independent enough to do our own thinking and decide if the Bible is really a fiction.

Furthermore, if it was really that easy to influence people's beliefs and 'brainwash' them to convert to Christianity, then I really doubt the truthfulness of these other religions. Besides, a part of what we Christians believe is that the Bible is not fictional and it matches the historical events and even archaeological facts. Telling others about what we believe in is a Christian's responsibility, but we cannot control people's minds.

In fact, students do have the freedom of choosing the religion that they want to study. If Christianity is a subject that you really hate so much, then go to a school that doesn't have the subject or doesn't make it compulsory. Choosing a school that you want to go to is definitely a matter of your own choice.