Consider the following three hypothetical scenarios, all of which relate to the right to education:
1. A girl in a rural village in Pakistan has dropped out of secondary school. Staff from an international development organization visit her house to encourage the parents to allow her to attend again. However, her parents say that it is against their cultural traditions for girls to go out the house unaccompanied at that age, and that her help is needed at home, they also point out that the girl herself does not want to attend.
2. A family has stopped sending their son to primary school. They are part of an ethnic/linguistic minority in their country, and point out that secondary schooling is only available in the national language. They are worried that if their sons keep attending school, their mother tongue will die out. They also don’t feel a secondary education is relevant to their agricultural lifestyle.
3. A family in a poor, rural area take their second oldest boy out of primary school. They point out that times are very difficult, and unless this boy works in the fields, they will not be able to feed their other four children. Teachers point out that he will have no future if he leaves school, and that education is compulsory according to the law.
In each case, do you think the child in question should be required to attend school? Reflect upon whether age, gender or other circumstances (e.g. culture, family needs) influence your answer.
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