Education – more precious than health?

It seems so to Sophie in Ghana from a report in The Sunday Times last weekend.

The report’s aim was, I think, to raise awareness of child labour in the production of gold for sale in Europe and Dubai as the picture below shows.

Sophie uses the £2.20 she earns a day to pay for her school books. I had to read that twice. In the UK, we take free education as a right. Yet we don’t always value its power. Are we too quick to exclude disruptive children without investigating and understanding what’s going on for them? Maybe families who don’t encourage their children to go to school should be supported to overcome their fears and see the value of their children having real choices and see they can access education and training if they want to.

Education enables social mobilisation, removing people from poverty enabling them to literally change their lives. Yet some of our citizens are not brought up to value and respect the offer of free education they have access to. The same offer, people like Sophie would love to have instead of risking her health to mine gold.

Equally, another thought struck me. Do we question enough where the goods we are buying comes from? Who produced them? What risks they took for a pittance? A resounding ‘no’ is the likely answer.

Shouldn’t all children have the offer of free education as an automatic right regardless of where they live? They are the future of the world. The ones that will find cures for the world’s diseases and problems. If we don’t invest in world’s children, what awaits us all?

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