Secularists upset by Scientologist’s driver’s licence courses

The Secular Education Network is decrying government-funded driver licence courses using education techniques inspired by the teaching methodology of the Church of Scientology.

The Network says any influence of the church on the education material meant a “biased education” was being delivered.

Registered charity Rule Education Trust, run by David Rule, is delivering driver licence courses to Aucklanders in need.

Rule set up the not for-profit trust in 2002 and has since launched courses in more than 15 locations across Auckland, including marae, decile 1 schools, community centres and prisons.

He has been a Scientologist for 30 years.

Rule once taught Scientology’s Applied Scholastics programmes alongside Auckland social worker Betty Wark.

Applied Scholastics International teaches study skills developed by the church’s founder L Ron Hubbard.

Rule said he believed in the education technology and while he did not teach these study skills or any religious material during the driver licence courses, he did draw on what he had learned in his time teaching Applied Scholastics.

The techniques include making sure students understand the meanings of words, encouraging them to physically interact with what they are learning about and not teaching too much too soon.

Last year more than 1000 people enrolled in the driver licence courses and about 200 people across the region were currently attending classes.

About half the people enrolled in the courses were referred by organisations like police and Work and Income (WINZ).

The success rate was sitting at about 75 per cent for the community and prison classes and more than 95 per cent in high schools.


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