Dec 15, 2022
It's Beginning to Look a lot like a Controversial Issue
With the number of people in Ireland identifying as Christian decreasing in the last decade, (CSO, 2016), with notable increases in the population of Muslims and Hindus, (95% and 135.6% increase respectively since 2006), primary schools around the country now host an increasing number of pupils that do not celebrate Christian festivals, such as Christmas. However 95% of Irish primary schools are under the ethos of either a Catholic or other Christian denomination, where Christmas is taught as a religious and historical event. Even outside of Christian schools, such as Educate Together, Christmas celebrations “can be a sensitive issue,” where they must “attempt to strike a balance between celebrating Christmas, and taking care not to give it dominance over other religious festivals,” This has proved, in recent years, to have caused some controversy with the organisation feeling forced to provide clarification on how it provides lessons on Christmas. In this episode, I’m going to explore why Christmas is now becoming a bit of a controversial subject in schools and what I would do if I were the Minister for Education.