Kids missing school...We all have been there, can you remember? Some days in Brazil were too hot or too cold to go to school, raining far too much or no rain at all and consequently no water in the school, or a public holiday on a Thursday and we decided to take the Friday off too and no school. Sometimes there was an important football match on the TV, and school would have to wait, or maybe a distant family member coming to our house and we would stay at home and miss school again, or even sometimes travel, out of the blue, and miss more school days.
Come on, let’s be honest, we all have done that at some stage in our lives in Brazil or seen somebody very close to us doing it. While in Brazil not big consequences come out of that, here in England the thing is different (and thanks God it is).
It is compulsory that children attend to school regularly from the age of 5 until 16. By regularly they mean ‘every school day’ with very little exception. Let me give you an example, yesterday my daughter didn’t go to school because I needed to take her to the doctor. I suspected that she had just gotten chicken pox. I phoned school early in the morning to inform them that she might miss few days of school in case the diagnose was confirmed. Later the doctor said it is chicken pox and no school for few days. This early morning I got a call from the school checking if my daughter was any better and if she was or not attending school. Of course I just had to confirm what the doctor had said and it was all fine.
I’ve heard some Brazilians that live in England saying they were annoyed by so much care and control, I have to say I am not. The school is doing their job and the parents are required to do the same. If a child is not well, has a cold or something like that, the school has to be informed soon otherwise they will phone the parents to find out why the child is not at school, and if the parents can not give a good reason enough to justify that, the education authorities will be informed.
In England parents can be taken to court and in some cases get prison sentence if their kids don’t attend school, in some cases a fine of up to £2,500.00 (about R$7.000,00) for not making sure that the kids are receiving proper education. How does that sound to you that live in Brazil at the moment? I left Brazil more than 10 years ago, and I would love to say that things have now improved in that area but unfortunately that is not what I hear. I guess if you pay a fortune for your kid’s education in Brazil you might receive a better support and control, but I am talking here about the schools that are free of charge in England and are the great majority. Would you be annoyed or grateful with this type of call?