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Students at risk

Posted By: Martin Jones on July 31, 2002
Listening to the voices of students at risk poses such a fundamental challenge to the school system. As a Parent of a teenager with Down syndrome, I requested admission to a Catholic alternative school dedicated to developing the life skills of students leaving the primary school system but without the competencies to benefit from secondary school placement. The response, on the day that my daughter was invited for "an assessment" - 'We (the members of the institution) have to pray on this.' They really believe they can listen to God when they block their ears, tongues, hearts and minds from the voices of students at risk. If the Church through its functionaries can do that what could be expected of 'mere teachers'? Salamanca Declaration aside, the challenge of students at risk is the fundamental challenge of the change from a system of separatist schooling to a system of genuine inclusive education for all. The ideals and values must come first. But it requires such a devastating repudiation of all the trappings of the good old traditions and systems of exclusion.
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 School approach to students at-risk by Amton Mwaraksurmes on July 10, 2002
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