MOLONG Central School ethics co-ordinator Tom Lefebvre believes the school is on the verge of becoming just the second this side of the Blue Mountains to offer ethics classes as an alternative to special religious education (SRE).
Mr Lefebvre said the only thing holding the school back previously was a lack of access to teachers’ education, but with extensive training offered in Bathurst on July 19/20, he’s hopeful ethics could be taught to Molong children before the end of July.
“We’re at the final hurdle. Obviously there’s a little bit of logistics to still work out, but with the teachers having access to training in Bathurst in July, we’re getting a lot closer,” he said.
“At this stage we will definitely have two teachers undergo training at Bathurst, with the possibility of a third. This training for our teachers will provide a lot of benefits for the children at Molong.”
Molong Central School will join Bathurst Public School as the only two schools to offer ethics outside of regional centres and Mr Lefebvre hopes eventually many central west schools will follow suit.
“It’s been a long battle to get this to happen because usually this type of education is saved for the bigger education centres based in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong,” he said.
“But it’s very exciting to become the second school this side of the Blue Mountains to offer an alternative to scripture.”
Mr Lefebvre said offering students an alternative was essential, especially those children who do not participate in religious education.
“I think teaching ethics is essential on a number of levels,” he said.
“It not only gives those students who don’t participate in SRE something to do other than sit in the library but it’s great to get children thinking early on how they can relate to the world at large.”
Mr Lefebvre said he was hopeful ethics would be introduced by the end of July and was confident the training the teachers will receive will be world class.
The primary ethics curriculum is being developed on a stage by stage level with individual topics such as acting fairly, evaluating reasons, empathy and fatalism to be taught over several lessons.