Posted by Catholic Weekly
on 26 September 2019
Australia's Catholic schools provide huge savings to the nation's education, yet are facing serious threats
At 20 per cent of enrolments across Australia there's no doubt Catholic schools are popular with parents and their children. Based on a number of surveys its clear parents are choosing Catholic schools because they see them as providing a faith-based education; one that best reflects and supports their values and beliefs.
Such schools are also seen as providing a disciplined classroom environment, an education that addresses the whole child and one that promotes equity and excellence in education. Australian research shows, when compared to students in government schools, that Catholic schools better promote tolerance and acceptance of different ethnic groups.
Strengthening social capital
Research also shows that Catholic schools are helpful in strengthening what the American academic James Coleman describes as social capital. This refers to the bonds and relationships that hold communities together and that promote reciprocity and social cohesion.