I had a couple of conversations recently about the fantastic school systems in place in Europe, mainly Scandinavia. Where play time is huge and the approach is much more open to educating children than in some other countries. I read up a lot on their approach and I have to say it makes so much sense. Education is key for our children, I guess we all agree on that. But it’s also important that they have time to discover who they are. That they have time to recharge and most of all: Time to be kids.
While we are fortunate enough that we can choose what education we want our kids to take advantage of, not everyone can. There are many children who want to learn but simply can’t. Because they don’t have the schools or the schools simply don’t care for them. I wrote a post about this subject a while back and would like to share it again as a Blast Of The Past as I think it’s crucial to not forget about them. Everyone should have the right of education.
I just finished writing a guest post for Education Post. It thought I said it all already in that post but the subject is not letting me go. I find it hard to believe that there are kids out there, missing out on a proper education just because they are from a less fortunate background.
When I wrote the guest post it was all about the kids not being included, the schools not being good enough, the teachers not believing in them and a lack of support in general for the schools and in the end for the kids. Sitting here now, watching my children play and be kids I realize that it is about so much more.
The issue runs deeper and I’m sure that I will again not even scratch the surface. Why? Because I simply have no clue.
I have no clue about how it must be like growing up with a poor background. Education wise and financially. I have no clue how it feels like suffering a lack of support from every side. I have no clue how it feels like not being able to read a book because a) you can’t afford a book and b) you might not know how to read. I have no clue how it feels like if you have to go out as a little child begging for money. How it must feel like going out there stealing food just so you can eat again or head out to get something to eat in a soup kitchen.
I don’t know how it feels like being exposed to violence or drugs.
I grew up fortunate on many levels. And so do my children.
Fortunate is a big word. It stands for many different things. Wealth but also health and happiness and all those good things out there. When I watch my children now, how they play and chat along, discussing things that obviously seem important to them, I consider all of us really fortunate. We are fortunate that we have an education that allows us to homeschool our children. An education that allows us to apply for the jobs we would like to get out there. If we get them in the end is another story, but at least we have all the basic background it needs. We are fortunate enough to be able to pick if we want to homeschool our children or send them to school. A lot of people do not have options.
I often think about how many children fall through the cracks when I hear parents talk about the private schools their children attend and the fantastic network they grow into by doing so. Sometimes it actually makes me a bit mad too. Now, don’t get me wrong. It has nothing to do with jealousy. It has nothing to do with judging. But what goes through my mind is how crazy it actually is that some will have better options than others simply because they went to a private school and the other kids to a public school. And we are not talking about a huge discrepancy in education level at all. They pretty much learn the same thing.
So it’s only about money. Right? It’s about being able to spend a huge sum a year on a private school or not. It’s about being able to buy the additional chances, the network in the end. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. And still, it’s actually madness.
How sad is it to see that governments cut back in education systems only to be able to put the money elsewhere?
I ask myself how many kids out there give up over time. Simply because they are that one step behind. Not because they are not smart enough or educated enough or too lazy to put the effort in but just because they did not go to a certain school with a network built up over years and years and some kind of “buddy-system” in all the right places. I wonder how many people get the jobs just because they went to the right school but actually lack the skills?
And now think about all the kids that have no chance at all! All the kids that don’t even get a proper education in a public school. All the kids that end up on the street. If you leave them there, you might miss out on a fantastic scientist, a doctor, a teacher.
But how can we change it? How can we provide chances to all the children out there. Equal chances? How can we fight this incredible gap that is obviously there? A gap that should not be there. How can we make sure that every child gets the chance he or she deserves? In the end it’s all about what we make of the chances provided to us. But we need them in the first place in order to make something out of it.
Education is the basis of our society. If we stop taking care of it, if we are not building it up, in order to provide our next generation with the knowledge they need, we are not only cutting off the branch we sit on, we are actually chopping down the entire tree.