The Serbian Orthodox Diocese, come Metropolitanate of Australia (and New Zealand) has been registered as of 4 January 2007, as a provider for Special Religious Education in the public and private schools of New South Wales.
The Very Rev. Fr Sasa Radoicic, parish priest at the St Sava Pro-Cathedral in Mova Vale, is the representative to the Special Religious Education Board of New South Wales and lecturer within the Mona Vale and Dee Why Public School Systems. Mrs Angela Bubalo, Program Manager/Facilitator for Schools as Community Centres (SACC), based at Dee Why Public School and Regional Community Liaison/Information officer for the North Sydney Region - NSW Department of Education & Communities, is the representative to Inter-Church Commission on Religious Education in Schools (ICCOREIS).
In accordance with the new Rules and Regulations governing Special Religious Education in New South Wales, the providers of SRE classes, are required to publish online the curriculum which is incorporated in the teaching of Scripture Classes. To that end, The Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand has subscribed to the Pan-Orthodox scriptural curriculum offered by the Orthodox Christian Education Commission (OCEC: www.orthodoxed.org).
Two of the student workbooks, Finding Your Way Through the Bible and Exploring How the Bible Came to Be, were selected for this initial phase as they were designed to help the primary and secondary level elementary schools students to become familiar with the Bible; how it is divided; how to look up passages; how it was formed in the Old and New Testament periods. Importantly, both are complete with self-instruction, so that the students can use them in the classroom and continue their studies at home.
For the more advanced students (Grades 3 - 7, High School, Adult), Biblical and Liturgical Charts has been added. This concise, informative, and interesting workbook forms the living link between Scripture and Orthodoxy! These charts provide a necessary historical perspective to the concepts presented during the year's work. Facts on the Paschal and Festal Cycles, Salvation History, the Bible, Sacraments and the Creed are readily accessible. Exercises are included for study and review.
The Orthodox Faith Volume III: Bible and Church History, a handbook to aid the teachers in preparing their lessons, offers explanation of the contents and interpretation of the Bible; plus a basic historical presentation to the Church, emphasizing the main theological, liturgical, and spiritual developments of each century.
Additionally, the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand will offer accrediting training for all SRE teachers, which would consist of the following six module teacher training courses, each consisting of two (2) hours: 1. Teaching SRE in public schools; 2. Child development and teaching; 3. Preparing and delivering a lesson; 4. Classroom management; 5. Denomination specific Biblical foundations; and 6. Supervised classroom experience.
Offering Scripture classes in the public school sector has effectively proven how many children have become actively engaged in the life of our Church. Our children must always be our first priority, for as His Grace has so often reflected: "If our children are not our present; they will never be our future!" Our collective future will be all the more promising and brighter with new and properly educated young generations.