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Educação e Pesquisa
On-line version ISSN 1678-4634
ROLIM, Carmem Lúcia Artioli and GOES, Maria Cecília Rafael de. Children with cancer and the educational service in hospitals and schools. Educ. Pesqui. [online]. 2009, vol.35, n.3, pp. 509-523. ISSN 1678-4634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-97022009000300007.
This work deals with the issue of the educational service offered to children with cancer that need to stay away from school for prolonged or recurrent periods of time as a consequence of their treatments. The school system has not been able to respond adequately to the needs of these students, and the initiatives of hospital classes and home schooling are still rare. To put this theme in discussion, we present a study based on a historical-cultural approach carried out within an educational program at a hospital for children with cancer. The objective here was to analyze the meaning attributed by children to the act of learning, and their receptiveness to learning experiences. During the program they showed a clear desire to take part in the activities, but demonstrated strong dissatisfaction with their return to school. In addition to facing prejudice against their health condition, they received no support to help them to catch up with their class, and usually ended up completing their school tasks by mere copying. Assessments were non-demanding, and promotion facilitated. Thus, their right to learn was turned into a right not to learn. The combination of lack of preparation with condescendence from the school leads to the potential and vitality of these children being put to waste, producing additional pain and a sense of inferiority. There are controversies around the issue of how much attention should be given to instructional activities, since it is essential to minimize the child's suffering. The results presented here suggest that the school knowledge should not be placed in a secondary position because it preserves ties with the spheres of culture and, above all, it constitutes a source of will to live in view of its value as a projected future.
Keywords : Children with cancer; Educational needs; Education and health.