Refuse. Resist. Rebuild.
What is early childhood education for?
Like many people, I have been shocked and horrified by the Manus Island violence.
Like many people, I have felt bewildered, helpless and ashamed of what is happening in these detention centres. The violence this last week has been horrific. But it’s not just that. It’s also the limited access to food and water. The removal of medicines and medical records. The pitiful or nonexistent access to medical treatment. The breaking-up of families. The possibility of a lifetime spent lived in these conditions.
I worry for the children who live in detention centres. I worry about their mental health, the emotional distress they both experience and witness, the opportunities they will have for their lives. It’s quite simply unacceptable and inhumane.
Our current government is cruelly making callous decisions with little regard for people’s lives. I feel like there is not a lot I can do. I can protest, I can vote for parties with humane policies for asylum seekers, I can support asylum seekers through as many ways as I possibly can. These are things I can do right now.
There are things I can do for the future. I can commit to teaching the children in my care about compassion, kindness and equity. I can actively and explicitly talk about the harshness asylum seekers face. I can work with them to create projects about kindness and compassion that can make a real difference in the lives of asylum seekers.
I hope for a kinder, more compassionate future for all people living in Australia and for those seeking refuge and safety in Australia. When violent unrest like this happens, I begin to think ‘What is early childhood education for? Is it about ABCs and 123s or can there be something more?’. I can teach children that they can have a choice- they can be silent and support injustices. Or they can speak out and say ‘this is not okay and I refuse to accept this’.
“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept”- David Morrison, Australian Chief of Army
© Awilda Longstocking, 2014
Anarchy & the EYLF Pirates.
Refuse, Resist, Rebuild.