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Roman Catholic school

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Roman Catholic school

Catholic schools are maintained parochial schools or education ministries of the Catholic Church. As of 2011 the Church operates the world's largest non-governmental school system.[1] Catholic schools participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church, integrating religious education as the core subject within their curriculum.

Background

Irish immigration provides the main contribution to the increase in Catholic communities across the globe. The Irish immigration established the revival of Catholicism through movement to countries across Europe, United Kingdom and Australia. Historically, the establishment of Catholic schools in Europe encountered various struggles following the creation of the Church of England in the Elizabethan Religious settlements of 1558-63. Anti-Catholicism in this period encouraged Catholics to create modern Catholic education systems to preserve their traditions. The Relief Acts of 1782 and the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 later increased the possibility to openly practice Catholicism in England and to create charitable institutions by the Church.[2] This led to the development of numerous native religious congregations which established schools, hospitals, orphanages, reformatories, and workhouses.[3]

Traditionally, Catholic schools originated as single sex schools. Catholic schools were previously required to depend on school fees and endowments. Endowments dropped off sharply causing fees to rise. This prevented some students from enrolling due to their inability to pay.

Purpose

Catholic schools are distinct from their public school counterparts in focusing on the development of individuals as practitioners of the Catholic faith. The leaders, teachers and students are required to focus on four fundamental rules initiated by the Church and school. This includes the Catholic identity of the school, education in regards to life and faith, celebration of life and faith, and action and social justice.[4]

Religious education

The Religious Education as a core subject is a vital element of the curriculum where individuals are to develop themselves: “intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally and of course, spiritually.”[5] The education also involves: “the distinct but complementary aspect of the school's religious dimension of liturgical and prayer life of the school community.”[5] In Catholic schools, teachers teach a Religious Education Program provided by the Bishop. Both teacher and Bishop therefore, contribute to the planning and teaching Religious Education Lessons.

Asia

Japan

One out of 100 are Catholic schools.

India

In India, Catholic educational institutions are second in numbers behind government run schools. There are 14,539.[6] While the schools are centrally tracked by the Catholic Bishops Council of India, they are controlled by the diocese in which they are located.[6]

There are 13,004 primary and secondary Catholic schools, 243 special schools, 448 Catholic colleges, and 534 technical institutions.[6]

Malaysia

Catholic schools in Malaysia have been the backbone of formal education in the country. Catholic schools have undergone many changes since independence in the late 50s and early 60s. The education policy in Malaysia is very centralized. In 1988, all Catholic brothers older than 55 were asked to retire with immediate effect, creating vacancies for lay teachers to take over. Any new brother wanting to join the teaching profession in Malaysia have to be in the civil service and share the same status as lay teachers. Many of our Lasallian traditions such as inter-La Salle games or sports are now integrated into other larger government funded programmes. With Islam being the federal religion, compulsory or elective Bible lessons today are limited only to those of the Catholic faith. The missioners who came here to open schools gave Malaysia a solid education framework. Today, there are 68 Infant Jesus Convents, 11 Parish Convents and 46 La Salle Brothers schools in the country.

Pakistan

The Catholic Church in Pakistan is active in education, managing leading schools in addition to its spiritual work. The Catholic Church runs 534 schools, 53 hostels, 8 colleges, and 7 technical institutes, according to 2008 statistics.[7]

The Catholic Board of Education is the arm of the Catholic Church in Pakistan, responsible for education.[8] Each diocese has its own board.[9]

The Government of Pakistan nationalised most church schools and colleges in Punjab and Sindh in 1972. Leading schools such as St Patrick's High School, Karachi, St Joseph's Convent School (Karachi) and St Michael's Convent School were never nationalised.

The Government of Sindh oversaw a denationalization program from 1985 to 1995, and the Government of Punjab began a similar program in 1996. In 2001, the Federal Government and the courts ordered the provincial governments to complete the denationalization process.[10]

Philippines

In the Philippines, private schools have been operated by the Catholic Church since the time of Spanish colonization. The Philippines is one of two predominant Roman Catholic nations in Southeast Asia, with a 2004 study by UNESCO indicating that 83% of the population as identifying themselves as Catholics.[11] The oldest existing university in Asia, University of Santo Tomas, is located in the Philippines. It is the largest single Catholic University in the world. The University was established by the Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominican Order, on April 28, 1611 and is much older than the United States Harvard University (1636).[11]

Europe

Ireland

Catholic schools in Ireland are state-aided, rather than state owned. Not all costs of operating, building and maintenance is provided by the central government. Local Catholic communities raise funds, as well. Catholics perform volunteer work, for example, on boards of management, and as Managers. This spares the state expense and resources. Despite criticism of Church control of the school system by some, there is evidence that the majority of teachers in Catholic schools have great regard for the structures and supports of teaching in a Catholic school.

Church groups in Ireland privately own most primary and secondary schools. Evidence indicates that approximately 60% of secondary schools pupils attend schools owned by religious congregations.[2]

United Kingdom

England and Wales

In England and Wales, Catholic schools are either independent or voluntary aided, with the funding divided between the state and the Catholic Education Service. The service provides education for approximately 840,000 pupils each year through its 2,300 schools. In addition, some 130 independent schools have a Catholic character.[12][13] The Catholic Education Service in their website indicates that they interact on behalf of all bishops with the government, and other national bodies on legal, administrative, and religious education matters. This as their website indicates is to: “promote Catholic interests in education; safeguard Catholic interests in education; and, contribute to Christian perspectives within educational debate at national level.”[14] There have been considerable changes to the way the money has been collected to the support of Catholic schools. The money towards the Catholic community in regards to building and supporting schools has risen from 50% to 90% in both England and Wales. In 2009, Catholic schools in England comprised two-thirds of all religious secondary schools.[15]

Northern Ireland

The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) is the advocate for the Catholic Maintained Schools sector in Northern Ireland. CCMS represents trustees, schools and governors on issues such as raising and maintaining standards, the schools estate and teacher employment. As the largest employer of teachers in Northern Ireland (8500 teachers), CCMS plays a central role in supporting teachers whether it is through its welfare service or, for example, in working parties such as the Independent Inquiry into Teacher Pay and Conditions of Service. According to the latest figures from Department of Education, N.I. Statistics Branch 2006/2007, the number of pupils registered at school in Northern Ireland is 329,583. The number of pupils attending Catholic managed schools is 148,225.[16][16]

Scotland

Like in England and Wales, Catholic schools in Scotland are either independent or state-run and overseen by the Scottish Catholic Education Service,[17] established in 1972 as part of the Catholic Education Commission to assist the Bishops' Conference of Scotland in matters pertaining to education. The Education Act 1918 guaranteed the rights of Scottish Catholics to educate their children in local Catholic schools and protected the rights of Catholic schools to preserve their religious character.[18] During the 1920s, ownership of most Catholic schools transferred from the Dioceses or the resident order to the state sector. Today they are known as "denominational schools" and are open to pupils who meet the specified prerequisites regardless of financial situation. A select few, most notably St Aloysius' College and Kilgraston School, remain independent.

North America and South America

Canada

In Canada, some Catholic schools are private schools run by the church. But in three of Canada's provinces and all three territories there are tax-funded schools overseen by elected school boards called separate schools which teach the standard curriculum plus Catholic teachings.

Latin America

The vast majority of Latin Americans are Christians, mostly Roman Catholics. It is indicated that 83% of the Latin American population consider themselves Catholic. Catholic educational practices were brought to the indigenous population of the Maya, Inca and Aztec by Spaniards, Portuguese and European cultures. Anticlericalism was established in the 19th century resulting to a temporary alienation between church and state.

United States

Catholic schools are the largest non-public school system in the USA. In 2010, 2 million students attended 6,980 schools. 331 of these are private.[19] Catholicism of schools in the United States was first established during the 19th century with the arrival of English immigrants. Catholic schools in the USA are significant in that Catholicism is seen to have been critical in developing the American culture. The development and enrollment of Americans into Catholic schools increased after World War II, Post-war development and Cold War in the battle against anti-religious Communism.[20] By the time of 1964-1965, 89% of students attended Catholic schools in Catholic private schools, the largest Catholic attendance ever seen in the history of the United States.[20] Since then, there has been a large decline in the amount of enrollment in Catholic schools, predominantly believed to be due to suburbanization, liberalization of education and the rise of the Catholic middle-class.”[20] In the United States, Catholic schools are also accredited by independent and/or state agencies, and teachers are generally certified. Schools are supported through tuition payments and fund raising charities.

In contrast to its public school counterparts, Catholic urbanization have made more significant achievements in poor areas than wealthier areas. Holy Angels, for example has become one of the strongest academic institutions in the country; it serves the Kenwood, Oakland neighborhoods of South Side Chicago, Illinois, where 3 out of 4 people live in poverty and violent crime is frequent.[20]

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops United States Conference of Catholic Bishops listed six key responsibilities of Catholic Schools.[21] They are

  1. Encouraging and supporting efforts in Catholic education by fostering the distribution and implementation of both universal Church documents on education as well as related documents developed by the bishops of the United States
  2. Supporting educational efforts in the Church in the United States by developing policies, guidelines, and resources for use by bishops in their dioceses
  3. Providing consultation on educational issues when requested, including advising and representing the bishops
  4. Collaborating with the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis regarding evangelization and catechesis in Catholic schools and universities
  5. Providing support and advocacy in federal public policy on behalf of Catholic educational institutions from pre-school through high school levels
  6. Bringing to Catholic education the perspectives and concerns of other cultures and people with special pastoral needs through collaboration with other committees/offices


Oceania

Australia

Main article: Catholic Education in Australia

In Australia, Catholic schools have been operating for over 175 years.The arrival of the first European fleet brought the first Irish Catholics to Australia, predominantly by the transport of convicts. Catholics consisted one-tenth of the convicts settling in Australia, mostly Irish whilst the rest were English and Scottish. By 1803, 2086 convicts of Irish descent and majority being Catholics had been transported to Botany Bay.[22]

Catholic schools are the largest group of non-government schools in Australia accounting for some 18% of institutions (1,705 of 9,529 as of 2009), compared to 11% for independent schools (1022).[23] Catholic schools are those run by the diocesan Catholic Department of Education; some independent schools are owned and run by Catholic religious orders. In addition, there is at least one school operating within the Society of St Pius X, Catholic traditionalists in irregular canonical status with Rome (Their current canonical status is being resolved in Rome presently): St Thomas Aquinas College in Tynong, Victoria.

As with other classes of non-government schools in Australia, Catholic schools receive funding from the Commonwealth Government. As this does not constitute the establishment of a church, nor the restriction of the free exercise of religion, nor does it create a religious test for public office, it is not considered to breach the separation of Church and State in Australia. This was the decision of the High Court in the Defence of Government Schools (DOGS) case of 1981, in which the judges selectively interpreted s.116 of the Australian Constitution, and is controversial.[24]

New Zealand

Catholic education in New Zealand was first introduced following the arrival of the first Catholic Bishop, Jean Baptiste Pompallier in 1838. A year after signing the Treaty of Waitangi, the first Catholic school in New Zealand was developed in Auckland on 1841.[25]

The schools were originally managed by seven sisters from Ireland and aimed to assist the Maori population and the new settlers. From 1853 to 1875, the provincial governments financed grants for the Catholic schools. The Education Act 1877 however, allowed all schools to be free, compulsory and secular, and therefore disallowing funding of Catholic schools. In the early 1970s, problems with funding saw Catholic schools being run down, and the Government, fearing the state system was unable to cope with an influx of students if the Catholic schools folded, enacted the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975. The Act allowed Catholic schools and other private schools to 'integrate' with the state system, receiving public funding and keeping their Catholic character, in exchange for being subject to the conditions of being a state school, such as having to teach the nationally set curriculum. By 1982, all Catholic schools in New Zealand had integrated.[25]

As of 2005, 9% of the total population in New Zealand attended Catholic schools.[25] The majority are New Zealand Europeans however, it is believed to be increasingly becoming multicultural.

The Catholic schools are owned by a proprietor, typically by the Bishop of the diocese. Currently, Catholic schools in New Zealand are termed 'state integrated schools' for funding purposes, meaning that teachers' salaries, learning materials, and operations of the school (e.g. power and gas) are publicly funded, but the school property is not. New Zealand Catholic schools are built on land owned by the diocese; if the government were to fund Catholic school property maintenance and capital works above the entitlement of any other private property owner, it would be transferring wealth to the bishop, breaking the separation of church and state. Instead, parents of students at Catholic schools pay "attendance dues" to the proprietors to fund property costs.

Funding

State funding

Main article: state school

In some countries, Catholic schools are funded by the state. These are institutions that requires assistance from the government. This is the same in public schools where government who mandate schools pay for the needs of schools whether in whole or in part, by taxes of the population. Australian catholic schools fall under this category, where the Australian government fund Catholic schools as well as state schools.[26] Non-independent catholic schools in Scotland is another example where the institutions are fully funded by the Scottish Government.

Private schools

Main article: private school

Private schools, also known as independent schools are not managed by local, state or national governments. They instead may select their students and are funded in whole or in part by the tuition fees charged to students, rather than relying on the government as public schools do. Students may also get scholarships to enter into a private school depending on the student’s talent.

Voluntary aided schools

Main article: voluntary aided school

Voluntary aided schools are a kind of "maintained school", meaning that they receive the majority of their running costs from central government via the local authority, and do not charge fees to students. In contrast to other types of maintained school, only 90% of the capital costs of a voluntary aided school are met by government. The foundation contributes the rest of the capital costs, owns the school's land and buildings and appoints a majority of the school governors. The governing body runs the school, employs the staff and decides the school's admission arrangements, subject to rules imposed by central government. Pupils follow the National Curriculum, except that faith schools may teach Religious Education according to their own faith. Within the maintained sector in England, approximately 22% of primary schools and 17% of secondary schools are voluntary aided, including all of the Roman Catholic schools and the schools of non-Christian faiths.

International benefits

Preference for the poor

Catholic schools have experienced changes heralded by the Second Vatican Council in regards to Catholic social teaching cantered on the poor: “First and foremost, the Church offers its educational services to the poor, or those who are deprived of family help and affection or those who are far from faith....”[27] These changes have led to instances in Brazil, Peru and Chile where the contributions has led to “a new way of being in school” by including the disadvantaged and people in poor areas to education.

High attendance and performance

Empirical evidence in the United States and Australia indicates that education performance and attendance are greater in Catholic schools in contrasts to its public counterparts. Evans and Schwab (1998) in their experiment found that attendance at Catholic schools in the United States increases the probability of completing high school or commencing college by 13%.[28] Similarly, an experiment conducted by Williams and Carpenter (1990) of Australia through comparing previous examination by private and public schools concluded that students in private education outperform those from government schools on all educational, social and economic indicators.[28]

Development of girls in society

Catholic schooling has indicated a large impact in the changing role of women for countries such as Malta and Japan. Catholic schooling of girls in Malta, for example indicates: “...evidence of remarkable commitment to the full development of girls in a global society.”[27] Similarly, all girl schools in Japan have also contributed powerfully to the “personal and educational patriarchal society”.[27]

International challenges

Economic inequality

The expensive cost and necessity to obtain high salary levels is contributing to the difficulty of maintain Catholic schools. Many Catholic schools in the United States in inner America which has traditionally served the most in are continuously being forced to close at an increasing rate. This may be seen as contradicting the Catholic schools principles as it does not live up to its reality. The preferential services to the poor serves a problem when there is a clear distinction that wealthier Catholic schools receive better resources and are more privileged than those in areas of low-income.[27] This today is being experienced in Latin America and other national settings where financial constraints in serving the poor is not being undertaken as state aid or subsidy are not being available to the Catholic schools.

Political context

There have been instances where some political ideologies that are engaged with secularism or countries that have high nationalism are suspicious of what Catholic schools are teaching. The moral and social teachings by Catholic schools may be seen as “continuation of Colonial cultural dominance of the society,” still being felt in countries of Spain, Zambia and Malawi.[27]

See also

References

External links

  • Alliance for Catholic Education – more information on support for Catholic schools in the United States
  • Catholic Colleges and Universities in the United States
  • Catholic Schools List of Catholic schools in Australia
  • List of Catholic schools in Denmark

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