Dunno if it’s okay to be telling our kids about a bloke called Maui going fishing and pulling up the North Island. Or was it the south?
Probably it is, because Alf went fishing for Reo resources on the Ministry of Education’s website, and (from here) he pulled up this nice little catch –
Māori Myths, Legends and Contemporary Stories
A collection of stories in English and te reo Māori based on Māori oral traditions, some are well known, and others are less familiar. The collection includes supporting teacher material and links to relevant websites.
Being a curious bugger, Alf tried to delve deeper into this, to see if the Maui story was included.
But guess what?
He got this message –
You don’t have permission to access /r/maori/nga_pakiwaitara/ on this server.
He did not bother trying to find out how to get permission.
Maybe he has to be able to talk Te Reo or some such, and he admits he would fail that test.
But why should Alf want to know about the teaching of whoppers about the catching of whoppers?
Because he is bemused by news (here) of something going sadly wrong with the telling of the story about Adam and Eve.
Whoever got into trouble should have had the good sense to rename the characters Hone and Kiri, or something like that.
And for good measure, he/she should not have mentioned the Garden of Eden.
They might have got away with Eden Park, but – much better – they should have put Hone and Kiri somewhere real safe, culturally, like the Ureweras.
But this person was probably a Pakeha steeped in Biblical teachings, and – alas – did not know any better.
And so –
The country’s largest provider of religious instruction in schools has stood down three volunteers for teaching pupils their own beliefs.
Churches Education Commission (CEC) chief executive Simon Greening said he removed the three volunteer teachers for deviating from the organisation’s strict code of expectations, and that there may have been others around the country.
In the latest of the three Auckland incidents this year, Mr Greening said a teacher of the Christian-based weekly class at a South Auckland primary school was investigated following a complaint two months ago for an “inappropriate” Bible lesson on Adam and Eve.
Mr Greening would not elaborate on the content but the volunteer was removed from the CEC’s national base of 2800 Christian Religious Education (CRE) teachers.
So if Alf understands our education system correctly, it is okay to tell the kids about Maui pulling up half the country on a fishing line.
But it is not okay to tell the kids about the apple and all that howz-yer-father in the Garden of Eden.
This Greening feller says he has dealt with six complaints and three stand-downs in his 14 months as head of the organisation, which runs the Bible-based classes in 730 secular schools nationwide.
Two of the six complaints – hard to believe, these did not lead to stand-downs – were over teachers telling the class Santa Claus did not exist.
Alf can not understand why the teachers would not be stood down for this outrageous transgression.
He has been on this earthy for sixty-plus years believing in Santa Claus, and is mortified to learn kids might be taught he does not exist.
Next thing we know, they will teaching the kids that Alf does not exist.
But wait. There’s more.
An outfit called the Secular Education Network apparently has been claiming that children have been told they would “go to hell”.
In what circumstances the kids would go to hell is not clear from the Herald report.
No complaint has been made about this matter, apparently, but any teacher who did tell a kid about the road to hell …
Well, education of that sort is treated very differently from teaching kids about – let’s say – a taniwha.
Greening said –
“If people are saying you’ll go to hell for your sins, that is a breach of our code and we’ll investigate that and we’ll stand that teacher down. We’re there to educate, not evangelise.”
Alf notes with some interest that the coordinator of Secular Education Network is a bloke named Peter Harrison.
Harrison says the network will be campaigning to change legislation to have the classes abolished.
Alf trusts that all those who learn about the creation of this country from the Maui story keep an eye on developments.
It would be a pity if Maori mythology were to be confused with the Christian religion.
And it would be a pity if the tellers of myths have to be subjected to the same curbs as those imposed on religious classes.
Alf was horrified to find how far the PC brigade have gone in imposing their beliefs on us –
Christian Religious Education teachers must:
• Teach without denominational bias
• Not teach about hell or any other controversial subject such as creationism or “end of time”.
• Not dismiss Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny as untrue.
• Be trained by and use the curriculum of the Churches Education Commission.
• Be police vetted.
• Abide by code of expectations including no religious jargon and respecting beliefs of students.
• Bible stories such as those of Abraham, King David, and the disciples.
• The story of Christmas through the birth of Jesus and the Easter story, including the belief Jesus died on the cross and rose again.
• Stories about famous New Zealanders including Sir Edmund Hillary, Kate Sheppard and Peter Snell.
• Values including personal worth, courage, inclusion, loving thy neighbour and forgiveness.
• Notions of right and wrong including not stealing, lying, or hurting others.
Alf would like to chat with Peter Harrison, to try to find what’s wrong with teaching – for example – about right and wrong.
He would also like to know why Harrison’s beliefs should be considered superior to Alf’s beliefs, including Alf’s belief in Santa Claus.
And the tooth fairy, come to think of it, although Alf considered himself seriously short-changed when he had all his teeth pulled – to be replaced by false gnashers – way back.
The tooth fairy coughed up just 25c for that lot.