independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Child more than a digit

Madam – Once I thought it was all about the money, but apparently it's not. It's all about the numbers – the number of school places available in my home town, or rather the lack thereof!

It appears that when it comes to our children's education we no longer consider their individual needs, special or otherwise. We have reduced our children to just a number.

My happy, easy-going 'Number' has attended the local Irish school for the past three years. I called a review meeting in June to discuss his progress, little did I know what I was letting myself in for.

Apparently my 'Number's' state exams results just didn't add up. I needed to find out what the problem was.

Like any other parent I accepted this mission quicker than you can say Tom Cruise. We embarked on several different assessments, the cost of which I won't mention, but let's just say it has four digits and a comma.

Turns out my 'Number' has dyslexia. Dyslexics struggle with languages, in particular Irish. The fact that we go to an Irish-speaking school is having a serious impact on his academic results. So a move to an English-speaking school was recommended.

I have two options in English-speaking schools, both principals very sympathetic to my cause; however, they have too many numbers in their schools. Packed to the roof, they have lists of 'Numbers' waiting for a place.

So there is no room for my 'Number'.

Something needs to be done, someone needs to stand up for our 'Numbers'!

But who?

Where my 'Number' will end up I do not know – on some statistical report which will line the drawer of some government official, gathering dust?

So it is all about the numbers? The Lotto numbers, now there is six numbers I'd like to have.

So maybe it is all about the money after all.

Tara Corcoran,

Co Meath

Sunday Independent

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