Former Poet Laureate calls for religious education to be replaced with lessons in ethics

Posted on Thursday 2nd May 2013

Roshan Doug, a former University of Birmingham Poet Laureate, is set to call for religion to be struck from the school curriculum.

Doug, whose research at the University questions the ownership, purpose and value of education, will use a public lecture on Tuesday 7 May to put forward his re-evaluation of the state education system.

Arguing that education as a project needs to be re-considered in the light of the (reformed) National Curriculum and state funding of faith schools, the unique lecture outlines alternative and challenging thinking in the field.

Doug said ‘Religion/faith is a private affair based on one's subjective experience that cannot be explained by empirical knowledge. And so by its very nature it falls outside the realms of public education.’

The lecture is part of the School of Education’s Philosophy in Education series, examining ontological issues and political concepts relating to education. 

Doug will argue that religious education especially creationism should be removed from the curriculum altogether and replaced instead with an emphasis on the teaching of ethics.  He will also suggest that educationalists should not attempt to instil the vocational skills that employers currently demand from school leavers. The role of teachers instead, is to make pupils creative, inquisitive, critical thinkers who can explore empirical evidence from different perspectives by using a variety of evaluative tools. It should be the job of employers to provide relevant vocational training to school leavers and the workforce.

Notes to editors

The lecture will take place in the School of Education, University of Birmingham on Tuesday 7 May at 3.30pm and is free to attend. 

Roshan Doug will be signing his recent collection of poems, What Light is Light after the lecture.

For further information about attending the event, please email enquiries@roshandoug.com

For media enquiries please contact Samantha Williams, University of Birmingham Press Office, +44 (0)121 414 6029