What Is Secular Education

What is secular education

What Is Secular Education- Education is simply the acquisition of knowledge, skills abilities and beliefs. Education is categorized into two main classes: Secular and Non-secular (religious) Education. While some individuals prefer secular education, others prefer religious education. In the following paragraphs, we would be looking at in great detail, what secular education is, its pros and cons, and also the differences and similarities existing between secular education and religious education. So, lets begin, What is secular education?

What Is Secular Education?

Secular education is a system of education that is not attached to any spiritual or religious belief principles. Rather, it is a kind of education that is based on critical thinking, scientific inquiry or rationality. Secular education’s main focus is to develop academic and intellectual skills, and also moral and social values (that is independent of any kind of religious or spiritual belief system) in its students. Learners get to acquire knowledge, skills and values that will make them better citizens in the society and also take intelligent decisions.

In secular education, it is believed that knowledge and truth can be discovered from observation, experiments and reasonings.

Why Secular Education?

Secular education was established for the following reasons:

  • To equip students with knowledge that is not related to any particular religion or spiritual belief system.
  • To help students get a deep understanding of their immediate world
  • To help them develop critical thinking skills
  • To empower individuals to be able to live fulfilling and impactful lives
  • To create a society filled with informed, intellectual and enlightened individuals.

9 Facts About Secular Education

  1. Secular education is a system of education that is based on empirical and rational principles.
  2. This system of education is not influenced by any religious or spiritual belief.
  3. A wide range of subjects such as  Science, Mathematics, History, literature, arts are being taught  .
  4. Students are provided with a well-rounded education that prepares them for the challenges of the future.
  5. It does not promote any form of religious or spiritual beliefs.
  6. The form of education allows students to create their own belief systems and values from experiences and rational thinking.
  7. It promotes intellectual freedom in the students, allowing the students think for themselves and form their own beliefs.
  8. With secular education, it is quite easy to build a society that is tolerant, inclusive and open-minded.
  9. This form of education prepares students to be responsible citizens, contributing to the growth and development of the community.

Pros Of Secular Education

Secular education is a kind of educational system that is not dominated by any religious belief. Below are the benefits of secular education:

1. Inclusivity

Secular education is open to students from different religious backgrounds and belief. They system of education creates a diverse environment that celebrates differences.

2. Equality

In secular educational system, students are treated equally irrespective of their religious background, belief, opinion or social status. This promotes social justice and fairness among individuals.

3. Fosters critical thinking

Students undergoing secular educational system are able to develop critical thinking. They are encouraged to ask questions, analyze and evaluate information critically. They are empowered to form their own belief system.

4. Flexibility

Secular education enables students to explore diverse field of study and areas of study , rather than being limited to a particular religious belief or ideology.

5. Innovation

Secular education opens you up to new idea and concepts. Students can be creative in their thinking and also in their ways of solving problems.

6. Independence

Students undergoing secular education tend to get more independence and self-reliant earlier in life that those not undergoing that kind of education.

7. Tolerance

In a secular educational system, understanding and respect for different cultures, beliefs and religion is promoted.

Cons of Secular Education

Even though secular education has some benefits, there are still some constraints that come up. Here are some of the constraints:

1. It can produce individuals with character deficiency

Secular education is more focused on acquiring of knowledge and skills, instead of development of character and values. Such kind of education can produce individuals with character deficiency and low level of moral values.

2. Secular education can be narrow in scope

A number of times, secular education focusses just on knowledge, skills and career. Students may not be exposed to some other aspects of life.

3. Sense of purpose may be missing

Secular education may not be able to give the students a sense of purpose outside what they learn in the four walls of a classroom.

Difference Between Secular Education and Religious Education

Now let us consider the differences between secular and religious education. Secular education differs from religious education in terms of objective, methodology and content.

Secular education focusses on developing of knowledge and practical skills in the students while religious education focusses on developing spiritual and moral values based on a certain religious belief system.

Secular education is simply an educational system that is not attached to any form of religious belief or doctrine. This kind of system focusses on development of knowledge, critical skills and practical skills in the students. On the other hand, religious education is an educational system that is based on a particular belief system or doctrine. It focusses on the development of spiritual and moral values and most times will involve study of religious books, practice and traditions.

The primary goal of secular education is to give students such kind of education that will prepare them to succeed and achieve great feats in the society irrespective of their religious background.  In contrast, the basic objective of religious education is to promote adherence to a certain religion and to input into the students’ great sense of faith and devotion.

In secular education, the curriculum comprises a wide range of subjects like mathematics, history, science, social studies, literature. Methods employed include lectures, experiments, discussions, exercises, etc. On the contrary, religious education applies a curriculum that is primarily focused on the principles and beliefs of a particular religion. Curriculum usually comprises study of religious books, moral teachings, worship and prayer. Methods employed include lectures, meditation, prayers and discussions.

Similarities Between Secular Education and Religious Education

Let us consider the similarities between secular education and religious educations:

  • Both type of educational system involve the acquisition of knowledge, skills and values.
  • Both strive to instill moral and ethical values in their students.
  • Both help students socialize and prepare them for the future
  • Both employ different teaching methods e.g lectures, exercise, discussions, experiential learning.

Last Word

Secular education is an educational system that is not attached to any religious belief. This system is mainly focused on the acquisition of knowledge and skills. The system prepares students to be responsible citizens in the society. However, one aspect of secular educations that is of concern is the fact that the students are left to form their beliefs from critical thinking and experience. This may not be too ideal, as some of these young ones could form weird beliefs that could be lethal to them and their colleagues. Thus , a balance is needed in secular education. Moral values  and standards must form part of the curriculum.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by the term: secular learning?

This is a form of education that is free of any religious or spiritual dominance. This kind of education is open to all irrespective of your background. A good example of secular educational system is the French public educational system, where some obvious religious symbols are not allowed in the schools.

What is the difference between secular and secularism?

Secular means not having anything to do with any religion. A secular person is an individual who does not owe his moral values and character to any religion. Rather his values and behavior are as a result of his scientific and rational thinking. While secularism is the separation of religion from political, economic , social and cultural affairs of life.

What is the opposite word for secular?

Religious is the opposite of secular.

What are examples of secular countries in the world?

These 5 countries are widely known to be secular. They are usually termed: ” constitutionally secular”
United States
South Korea

Who coined the term,  secularism?

The term secularism was coined in 1851 by George Jacob Holyoake. He was an English Secularist, co-operator and  also a newspaper editor who lived between 13th April 1817 and 22nd January 1906.

What countries in the world are non-secular?

Two countries in the world are non-secular : Saudi Arabia and Israel.


  • www. wikipedia. org- Secular Education
  • www. wikipedia. org- George Holyoake
  • www. gogreenva. com- Why I want to teach in a Secular School


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