The story so far
There is less than a week to go now before the closing date for the people of Luxembourg to add their signatures to the Petition to the Chambre of Deputies, asking for a change in the law to allow private schools for children with disabilities. If no such legal change is made, then Schrëtt fir Schrëtt's established CE school will have to close at the end of this school year
Maggy Wagner-Duchène and her associates have run a high-profile PR and political campaign and seem to have attracted the sympathetic ear of the Luxembourg media.
Comparison on TV
The Luxenbourgish-language channel of RTL TV has a seven-minute news-magazine segment on line, summarising the disagreement between the Schrëtt fir Schrëtt parents and the multidisciplinary alternative that the state is offering them:
This report is in Luxembourgish and probably incomprehensible even to German-speakers. But it does offer an interesting sight of some of the children involved and a bit of the work that they are doing. Interviewed are Maggy Wagner-Duchène, along with Lex Folchied and Pierre Reding who are both education ministers – and Germain Back, the Director of the IMC (l'Institut pour Infirmes Moteurs Cérébraux).
The TV report showed some of the IMC's multidisciplinary work and something that I have never seen done before. The screen was split:
- on the left, shots of children working at Schrëtt fir Schrëtt
- on the right, shots of children working at the IMC
Hardly a scientific comparison, I know, but at the meta-level, a telling one.
Schrëtt fir Schrëtt has summarised this segment on its Facebook page, in French so more accessible –
This report shows both sides of the subject well with a clear commentary: two altogether different systems! The images speak for themselves!
Representatives from the Ministry in fact say the same as we do: for disabled children in Luxembourg there may be integration or there may be the state system (IMC)... or one goes abroad.
On Friday 's news the ministry representative stated that he wants to to take us in on this basis, but we do not want that.
The responsible management now clearly says that he wants to take in only a small part in its offer to include IMC. For us it is clear: if we have a complete and efficient system for the needs of severely disabled children, why should one wish to reduce it to its motor aspect alone, which will no longer know how to function if one leaves aside the whole pedagogic part that opens the brain to learning and to forging new mechanisms to control the child's body?
What will happen to all the educational component, the school learning, which is so important to us?
Never change a winning team! Why want to change a system that has proven itself over the last seventy years and has such results?
Thank you to the journalists for their professional and neutral reporting!
It would be nice to understand what was being said for and against, but doubtless there will be opportunity enough for this when the business gets to be debated in the Chambre, and is reported in French and German.