WHEN I was a tiny tot I attended pre-primary school classes run by the local nuns in the Majorcan village where I lived. Naturally, religious education played quite a big role. Now, while I didn't really understand it at the time the fact that I was an Anglican compared to the rest of the class who were Catholic, caused some problems at first. But following the intervention of the local priest I was allowed to get involved. Religious education was with me throughout all my school-days. It was in those days a compulsory subject. I wouldn't say that I exactly enjoyed it but it was all part of school-life. Now, the Spanish government of Rodriguez Zapatero wants to abolish what in my day, was known as RE. Why? It will be replaced by something which is called Social Studies which is a broad-term which encompasses everything from politics to modern-day life. In my experience, it rather depends on the teacher, who decides exactly what social studies involves. Religion will continue to play an important role in our lives, like it or not. You can understand why the Catholic Church in Spain, is not too impressed with this latest move by the Zapatero government. On Sunday more than two million people took to the streets across Spain to protest. I understand that Zapatero wants to transform Spain into a modern state but abolishing religious studies is not the way forward. Religion gives a very good grounding for later years and it is important that it is not lost. There is a school of thought that in Social Studies students will just be fed government propaganda. All I know is that if it isn't broken then there is no need to fix it.
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