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  • Writer's pictureFranck Banza

Transforming Education: Nurturing Every Child's Potential

In the heart of our campaign for Gower lies a deep concern for the future of our children. We believe that our education system should be a beacon of hope, nurturing individuality, empowering students, and supporting our dedicated teachers. It's time to acknowledge that the current system is letting our children down. In this article, I want to share a more personal perspective, drawing from my own experiences as a parent, a school governor and conversations with parents, teachers, pupils, and teaching assistants. Together, let's propose a vision for change.

As a parent, my wife and I have embarked on a unique journey with our children. Our family isn't a stranger to the complexities of raising kids on the autistic spectrum. Our children walk this path, and each day has been a testament to their strength and resilience.

Getting a diagnosis for our children was an emotional rollercoaster. We knew something was different, but the journey towards understanding what was going on felt endless. Many parents in Gower and Swansea share this struggle, waiting for answers, often feeling isolated and unsupported.

Our son's experience was particularly challenging. The school system seemed unprepared to meet his needs. Instead of the tailored support he deserved, they resorted to giving him an iPad to keep him quiet. It was heartbreaking to watch our bright, inquisitive child reduced to hours of screen time.

To transform our education we need:

  1. To Pay and Support for Teachers: Our teachers, the architects of our future, deserve better. They should be valued, not forced to strike for a pay rise. Conversations with teachers and teaching assistants, who supported us through these trying times, underscored the need for improved pay and working conditions. It's time to create a system where teachers can focus on teaching, not worrying about making ends meet.

  2. A Bespoke Curriculum: Children, especially those on the autistic spectrum, deserve a tailored education that understands and nurtures their unique abilities. I've seen firsthand the difference this can make in our children's lives. Let's introduce a bespoke approach that empowers teachers to nurture each child's hidden talents, ensuring that every child, regardless of their abilities, feels valued and understood.

  3. Support for Special Educational Needs: Navigating the education system with children on the autistic spectrum was a personal challenge. It's a journey shared by many parents in Gower, and Swansea. I'm committed to providing specialised support and tailored education for children with special needs, ensuring they have the opportunities they deserve.

  4. Early Age Education: Early education sets the foundation for a child's future. It shapes a child's confidence, self-esteem, and sense of identity. Our plan is to revamp early education, providing children with the tools they need to flourish in a supportive environment, just as we wished for our children.

  5. Discipline and Behaviour: Teachers should feel empowered to maintain discipline in the classroom. Through conversations, it's clear that we need to strike a balance where teachers have the authority they need to maintain order while ensuring students are heard and understood.

  6. Extracurricular Activities and Community Centres: Every child deserves access to extracurricular activities. My discussions with parents, pupils, and community leaders have emphasised this need. I'll champion funding for schools to offer diverse extracurricular programmes and advocate for more community centres where children can engage in positive activities.

  7. Transportation and Accessibility: Transportation should not be a barrier to participation. Conversations with parents and residents have highlighted the issue of transportation. We'll address this concern, ensuring that children can access educational and extracurricular opportunities regardless of their location.

  8. Supporting Families: With the cost of living on the rise, families in Gower and Swansea are facing significant challenges. Through discussions, it's evident that we need policies that support families and ensure that education is accessible to all, regardless of economic circumstances.

The future of our children should be filled with promise, not uncertainty. Based on my personal experiences, especially the challenges of raising children on the autistic spectrum, and the invaluable insights gained from conversations with fellow parents, teachers, pupils, and teaching assistants, I am committed to fighting for better support for our local schools in Gower. We envision a system where teachers are well-paid, children are empowered to explore their unique talents, and parents are confident in the education their children receive. Together, we can transform our education system and create a brighter future for all.

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