Another Brick in the Wall? Why the State Needs to Have Oversight Over Schools

It really is easy: because all participants, the state providing the curriculum, the teachers in teaching that curriculum (or not), and parents/guardians by being a role-model make mistakes. Even the best mistake-preventing system will fail sometimes and sadly it will by that fail a child. The parents might teach and preach religious extremism to the child, the state might be undemocratic and reaching for absolute power, the teachers might wish to shape the students to minions of the teacher’s individual beliefs. There is a very small likelihood that all three institutions will fail at the same time in the same way, but a much bigger likelihood that one of the institutions fails or that two or more fail in different ways (e.g. the parents being religious extremists, the teacher promoting god-less communism). Providing the child with several views and options will prepare the child to make its own decision. And in the much more likely case that at least one of the institutions does not make a mistake at the given time, it gives the child the much needed opportunity to seek assistance. By letting parents home-school their child without frequent oversight by non-related people both over the curriculum and the child as a person, the state, in the event of harm by parents, fails the child. Not only in the event of ideology, but also in the event of abuse.

So yes, using the child as another brick in the wall is a scenario one must absolutely consider. However, it is exactly why the state, as one of the involved entities, needs to be part of this three-or-more-fold oversight system. And the state needs to (and can) be hold accountable to its duties regarding equality and respect in providing the curriculum both from inside and outside of system and country.