Back to school time is a tough time for all in a family. Schools are a place for children to learn the fair ways of life in order to live in a democratic society and for most, is a required place to be educated both academically and socially. This time of year can have emotional pressures and of course financial pressures. The growing up period and seeing the first child reach the school age is an amazing moment for a parent. For older children going from primary to post primary is also a watershed moment. All those years of rearing, the ups and downs the wondering of how will this child deal with ‘such and such’ if they are challenged by other children and particular issues in life are all now about to happen. It`s a time that is a glorious celebration of the previous years of growing up but, it can also be a time of wondering ‘ what if?’, ‘are they ready?’ and ‘will they cope?’. In a way, it`s a time to let the child fly the coup and just trust that they have the skills that you have imparted to them in order for them to react properly to the changes that they will experience in life.
Of course though, going back to school brings those financial pressures that are often unforeseen. For many years now the use of text books as learning methodologies have been a clear expense. Then, with the advent of technology, there has been a clear demand from some educational schools to ask the parents pay for a computer or electronic devise of some sort. This is a hugely added expense along with the books. In latter years there is another expense that has become pressure laden and ever more predominate. Many schools now expect a ‘voluntary contribution’ for their school in order for children to avail of it`s services. This, in a public school, which is suppose to be fully funded by the government of the day in order to educate children for their futures so that they are seen as being capable citizens in a harmonious society. Yet, at present, many people find themselves under financial pressure to meet these rising annual costs and feel targeted to pay this ‘voluntary’ payment. You would really wonder if the economy is growing if there are these feelings of being overawed by this financial burden?!
It`s funny how’voluntary’ now seems to be a required payment in a country that is suppose to provide free education to school goers. I wonder if the children really understood this irony would they consider it a fair way to live in a truly democratic society?