Wednesday, 17 February 2010
The right to a voice
A fantastic characteristic of Swedish society is freedom of speech, freedom of religion and of lifestyle. Based on the value of equality, the concept of freedom of speech applies to everyone in the society, even children.
It's no surprise then that in a country that has a child ombudsman and fierce legislation against corporal punishment, the following is happening. School children are being given the opportunity to evaluate, or grade, their teachers - to give their opinion on the abilities of their teachers. Their evaluations will be public records.
Politicians who support the move say that school is there for the children, not the teachers, Therefore, children should have an influence over their environment and the people who work there.
Politicians who are against say that children are not mature enough to understand the consequences of their grading and that the results could be devastating for individual teachers.
No matter what we think, for or against, I think this is fantastic. A fantastic example of the Swedish belief in equality in practice.
Even the smallest people in this culture have a voice, and a right to share it.