Letters extra: The value of a person

13th June 2003 at 01:00

I went to the funeral of a student today. She was around 26 years of age, had a heart disorder and Down Syndrome. She had never attained, nor would have attained, any GCSE's A-C grade. However her life had touched many others, she enriched, cheered and encouraged fellow-students and staff alike. Despite being permanently short of breath and slightly blue, she greeted people like old friends, had exuberance and compassion. She made her mark in activities both in college and out.

Today I stopped and wondered at the wisdom of a society whose educational system forces students to believe that their only value is in good results, improving Sats, and A-C grades at GCSE and even A'level.

What is the point of 'citizenship' teaching, if we give our young people such conflicting messages that they lose sight of the value of a person, the intrinsic worth of each and every human being to bring something unique to life.

Nicky Brusby


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