Private Religious Education Contributes More To The Common Good

It turns out that private religious education doesn’t pump out “ultra-rich snobs and religious hardliners”, at least, according to a recent education survey by Cardus. More than 2,000 former students between the ages of 24 and 39 who attended separate Catholic, Evangelical, or private Christian schools were queried on issues such as charitable donations and civic involvement.

The study concludes alternative school graduates are as likely, if not more so, to be valuable contributors to the “public good.”

Students at independent schools make up for about 8% of Canada’s school-age population, and includes Catholic schools in Ontario funded by the government.

Lead researcher Ray Pennings says the findings help shatter the stereotype that alternative schools have a negative impact on Canada’s multicultural fabric.

“The perception has been that independent schools were for rich kids and religious kooks who were focused on themselves,” said Pennings. “What the study actually shows is that whether it’s social engagement, donating or volunteering, the graduates of these schools are achieving the objectives of public education at equal or greater proportions than the public school systems.”

Graduates of non-government schools took part in more neighbourhood and community groups, but more significantly, they were more likely to vote and participate in grassroots movements. (HT: James KA Smith)