The right to education

I’ve written another post for Firefly, and this one is a little more political than usual. I generally try to steer clear of politics when writing this blog and about Miss Z because my objective is to share our experiences, not my personal views. However, sometimes the two overlap and I feel compelled to explain a bit more about how some of these political decisions can affect Miss Z, our family and those in a similar situation.

Re-reading my article online after Firefly published it, I got a feeling that I might have been a bit too conservative with my opinions. This is a topic on which I feel very strongly, after all. And I think it is one that not everyone fully understands.

I hate the attitude that I find, even among well-meaning people, that Miss Z’s education is optional, a fun activity for her to fill her day, or a welcome break for me to relax. Her education is every bit as important as any other child’s.

Yes, what she does in school every day is different from your average first grader. But that doesn’t make it less.

Some people might argue that there is no need to invest in her education because after all, its not like she is going to graduate, get a job and contribute to the economy. While that is probably true – disabilities and medical fragility aside, she has a life limiting condition that means we aren’t even sure if she will make it to graduation – it is also a narrow, old fashioned view. Amazing technological advances mean that being nonverbal or having a disability isn’t as limiting as it once was. Who knows what technology will be available or the world will look like when Miss Z is an adult?

And even if she never does anything more than live at home with QB and me – does that mean that she shouldn’t have the right to a good education?

There is one thing of which I’m very sure: Miss Z’s education will improve her quality of life. It already has in the year (and a bit) that she has been going to school.

So, don’t ask me if Miss Z is going to school (she’s nearly 6 years old, of course she is) and don’t think that we only send her there so I can drink coffee or work (although it is an undeniable side benefit). She goes to school because, just like other children her age, she needs to learn to socialise with her peers, become more independent, communicate more effectively and become literate and numerate.

And most importantly, wherever you live in the world, do not let politicians tell you that Miss Z and children like her have any less right to a good education.

You can read my blog post for Firefly here.

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