The New Zealand Catholic Education Office strongly supports the teaching of values in schools, but the list is too limited at this stage.
The Ministry of Education has been working on The Curriculum Project to make values more explicit as the foundation of the nation’s school curriculum.
Catholic education CEO Pat Lynch says New Zealand has been too timid and not explicit enough about the values it wants young New Zealanders to be taught and exposed to.
But he says the ministry needs to introduce more spirituality into the curriculum.
‘A resilient democracy recognises the spiritual dimension of individuals and seeks to nurture it. If our society is generally virtuous it will be strong when guided by sound systems of law. If people are not committed to being virtuous, society will simply implode,’ he said.
Parents were first educators, he said, but when schools have a strong role in supporting the values which an overwhelming number of parents support, the youngsters will be positive contributors to society.
‘Young people without real values are a menace to society and unfortunately we are witnessing a rise in the number of these youngsters,’ Brother Pat said.
The public consultation on values in schools will take place over the next 12 months. This is an opportunity for all New Zealanders to have their say about something which is fundamental to our country’s health and wellbeing.