The spiritual wellbeing of young Australians is a vital role of education

This is a remarkable statement:

Promoting the spiritual well being of young Australians is one of the vital roles of education.

It is remarkable, not because it is true, but because it is a truth declared by all Australian Education Ministers in December 2019.

The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration is a vision and commitment for improving educational outcomes for young Australians. It builds on previous Declarations over the last three decades and unites Federal and States education ministers across the political divide.

The Preamble to the Declaration captures the holistic needs that education serves:

Education plays a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and wellbeing of young Australians, and in ensuring the nation’s ongoing economic prosperity and social cohesion.

All Australian governments acknowledge the importance of fostering the spiritual wellbeing of young Australians. This sentiment continues beyond the Preamble. In fact, Goal 2 includes a commitment of all Australian governments to work in collaboration with the education community to:

…support all young Australians to become confident and creative individuals who have a sense of self-worth, self-awareness and personal identity that enables them to manage their emotional, mental, cultural, spiritual and physical wellbeing.

In Australia’s diverse society, there will be many different views about what ‘spiritual wellbeing’ looks like and how this can be achieved through education. Parents have many options available to them and Christian schools offer their distinct vision to parents who choose this path for their children.

It is a path well trodden, illuminated by the wisdom of Bible. It is taught and modelled by people who have personally experienced ‘spiritual wellbeing’ through the grace, love and forgiveness of Jesus. It is not only through their words but also their daily example that young Australians are able to discover this for themselves.

“The Bible teaches that every human being is made in the image of God, so I seek to honour every person’s dignity as an image-bearer of the Creator. This means their life, choices, opinions, and behaviours matter. The Bible also describes how my Lord Jesus treated people with kindness, honesty, humility, and purity, so I seek to follow His example.” – Shez, a Christian teacher in Queensland

Christian teachers and staff are the heart of Christian schools and their vision for spiritual wellbeing. It is a vision that is drawing in more Australian parents each year from all backgrounds and faiths as they see the life-changing difference that Christian schools can make.

As Dave, a Christian teacher in NSW shared:

“I do not think you can measure the impact that Christian teachers have. Christian teachers have a personal relationship with someone who is in the business of restoration, forgiveness, grace, miracles and second chances. Christian teachers are the link between young people feeling overwhelmed, apathetical, depressed, stressed, anxious and lacking purpose and young people living a life with meaning an purpose.”