NCCA Colloquium on the JCRE

The NCCA Colloquium on the JCRE was held in the Kilkenny Education Centre on December 14th 2009.

Three presentaions were made, namely, The Affective in the JCRE; The Impact of JCRE on four students from Presentation Kilkenny; and lastly, the Multi-faith context of our schools.

Participants attended from a varitey of educational backgrounds, policy makers, educational practitioners and NCCA personel. The ideas shared in the various discussion groups will be published late next term.

Four Students from Presentation Loughboy, Kilkenny were honoured to be allowed particpate in the forum and the following is an account of the forum from Eimear Connick who was one of four students representing her school.

"Ten years after the introduction of the Religious Education examination at Junior Certificate level, this forum intended on bringing together people within the religious community.

The gathering consisted of teachers, third level lecturers, members of CEIST, nuns and those in charge of putting together the Religious Education exam and syllabus among others. All very well, but for students from Presentation to be offered to participate in this forum was a great honour for the entire school community.

Four girls were to participate - Amy Cooke, Shauna Holohan, Bronagh Dunne and myself. We were privileged to be given this fantastic opportunity to express our views on our experience of the JC Religious Education Course.

The event was hosted in the Kilkenny Education Centre on Monday 14th December. Other than ourselves, two other speakers were due to give there views on the subject - the Religious Education Examiner and a teacher working in a multi-faith environment. Following each presentation, group discussions were held to discuss relevant questions around the topics covered by the speaker.

Ours was the second presentation of the day and we were all anxious about what was to come. Bronagh read first, outlining her experience of JCRE and giving an insight into how her perception of God has changed.

Then, Amy highlighted her experience of the morality section and explained how it had helped her in life on a practical level. The third to address the gathering was Shauna, who talked about how she had improved her relationship with God through studying Judaism. Finally, it was my turn to speak. I outlined my experience of my Journal Work assignment and also the challenges which JCRE posed for me as a person.

It was a relief to get our presentation over and done with and we were surprised at how well our views were received by all present.

The forum concluded with a short speech from a woman who expressed her overall impression on the issues raised throughout the day. Following this, we were treated to a delicious dinner in the area outside the conference room.

Overall, the experience was both enjoyable and fulfilling for all present and we were honoured to be part of this very special and unique occasion."

Eimear Connick. T.Y.1