7 Main Importance of Religious Education in Schools
Man cannot get peace through worldly pleasures, because there is no end to the same. In worldly pleasures the drive for material things goes on accelerating. Under such a situation religion must be given a place in education, because religion alone can acquaint man with the shallowness of worldly things.
History, geography, science, mathematics and other subjects taught in schools lead only to the fulfillment of material needs. They develop the mind, but the spiritual side of one’s personality is entirely untouched by them. Religious education will promote human values.
2. We find many social evils today because of lack of true religious feelings. These evils are projected through intolerance, enmity and selfishness both in national and international fields. Religion alone can help us to eradicate these evils.
3. Religion must not be understood in a narrow sense. Religious education does not mean education in a particular religion. In fact, it means to concentrate on the essence (and essentials) of all religions.
If religion is understood in a liberal sense, all evils of life will be wiped off. Within religious education in schools no place should be given to observance of various rituals. Instead, we have to emphasize certain common human ideals. Only then religious education will be useful.
4. Today we find fault in religious virtues, because people have moved away from God and religion. Religion is the pivotal point through which education may be given for development of various virtues. So we cannot ignore religion in any scheme of education.
5. India is a religious country. Material pleasures have always been shunned in India in face of religious ideals. So we cannot think of any scheme of education without a place to religion in it. But we have to remember that religious education should be based on religion of humanity.
6. In modern days scientific reasoning and materialism are getting upper hand over everything else. The people of most developed countries which rush after material wealth are undergoing great tension which has resulted in two world wars.
These tensions are ever growing even now. Where shall we go if we follow the footsteps of these countries and ignore our own great religions and spiritual tradition? However, this does not imply that we want to starve to death being imbued with spiritual cravings.
It is true that we have to fill up on bellies at first before obtaining spiritual heights. Today there is a necessity for striking a balance between spiritualism and materialism. We can get this balance through education alone. So education must have the colour of religion of humanity.
7. Various educationists of our country have supported the cause of religious education. The names of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Madan Mohan Malviya, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, and Radhakrishnan and of many others may be quoted in this context.
According to these men the basis of religious education should be religion of humanity which essentially implies silent prayer, study of lives of great religious leaders and basic principles of various religions.