A number of articles have appeared in the press in the last few days defending parental choice in education.
On Saturday, chairman of the Bishops’ education commission, Bishop Leo O’Reilly, had a piece in the Irish Times pointing out that allowing religious schools was simply showing respect for pluralism and diversity.
Yesterday, John Murray of the Iona Institute had another piece in the Irish Times, responding to an earlier column by Ronan McCrea. McCrea had claimed that international law required Ireland to replace religious schools with a wholly State-run system. John pointed out that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights acknowledges a parent’s right to choose the manner in which their child is educated.
In another article yesterday, this time in the Irish Independent, Fr Michael Drumm, chairperson of the Catholic Schools Partnership, makes the point that the choices of Catholic parents must be respected. He also makes the interesting point that, so far, “no school has sought a change in its Catholic patronage; in fact the trend has gone the other way, with some existing schools wanting to come under such patronage”.