Amidst all the political and media rhetoric that increasingly surrounds education these days, we must remember that every decision, every critique or headline is impacting on people, real people whose needs are great, whose demands are now and who have such a weak voice of their own; our children. The problem with education is that it is so often used for political points scoring, for headline generation and sensationalist television. children are used like the pawns in a particularly aggressive game of chess.
Our children are real people with the same rights as any of the rest of us. Education must help them to expand their hearts and minds… To develop their individual identities and their roles as global citizens.
Yet to date, education policy has sought to control not to empower, to sort and to label.
I, like the vast majority of educators, long for a day when politicians stop using children to score points off each other and certain elements of the media stop using them for crass headlines and daft copy.
Children are real people… Let’s not forget that our legacy to them is an out of control economy, an environmental time bomb and a total lack of socio ethnic cohesion. We need our children to be better people than us, we need them to reverse the damage we have done to each other and our planet.
Somewhere out there are the people who will know how to repair the problems that we have created, somewhere out there are people who can redefine the planet on which we live and my point is that they may only just be starting school!
Our job is to ensure that, whoever they are and wherever they live, we build them an education system which ensures that they are better than us…
We don’t do it by doing what we’ve always done, or by fighting an ideological battle ground, we don’t do it by demonising them or their teachers to sell a newspaper and we don’t do it by relying purely on our schools.
Children are real people indeed and they deserve the respect and very best efforts of all of us!