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The right to develop your talents and abilities…

14 March 2022

by A

Every child in Ireland has the right to be allowed to develop their talents and their abilities. Since discovering this is a right for every child just as education is a right, shocked me. All of your friends are in education but they mightn’t be in activities outside of school that allow them to further thrive in their talents.

Article 29 of the UNCRC states “your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities. It should also help you learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.” Day in and day out children from the age of 3 to 18 years old, go to school and study.

Under the Education Act 1998, the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NCCA) was established. The NCCA writes the exams for the subjects you do in schools and they try to make it as inclusive and diverse as possible.

All these children who attend school are not all receiving their correct rights. If it is a child's right to receive a diverse education in which it allows them to prosper their abilities, how come the NCCA creates exams solely based on intellectual knowledge. Not every student’s talent involves academics and if this is the case, their rights of developing their abilities in school are not being fulfilled or attended to.

Subjects other than classroom based ones aren't being provided in schools. Those fortunate enough are able to follow through on their rights and advance their talents and abilities by taking classes in their preferred area. There are students who cannot progress their abilities, as they can’t afford to do sports, take art classes or play music. Every student should be given the equal opportunity.

The NCCA says they create exams to be inclusive but in reality, their diversity only suits children with intellectual talents. If schools provided more classes or clubs this would allow students to try out different subject areas and learn what they enjoy. Having music lessons or more diverse sports as options or art clubs is a solution. I believe this would allow every child to avail of their right.

Finding a talent or learning you have an ability in an area can help students develop confidence and provide them with more opportunities. I also feel finding enjoyment in an area can help with mental health and physical health. If a child does extracurricular activities, their social skills will improve and having those is vital for the real world. Their self-esteem will increase and widen their social circle.  School nowadays can cause a build-up of stress due to the pressure of it all on children. Escaping through a different activity that brings you enjoyment can help you in every way.

It is a right for a child to develop their talents and abilities just as it is a right for children to have food so action needs to be taken to help each child grow!