Political Promise

Education, Education, Education? or Motivation, Motivation, Motivation?

In Pav Sandhu on June 19, 2010 at 4:23 pm

By Pav Sandhu

This year's A Level students are guinea pigs for new specifications

It is customary that the media has a field day on the A level results day. With the percentage of rising grades, typical news headlines usually result in them questioning how easy the exams become each and ever year and that young people don’t work hard enough to “deserve” those grades and university places. Personally from experience I can tell them that this year this is definitely not the case! This year I am sure that the media will also print negative headlines on students not achieving enough! Either way we cannot win.

The results on the 19th August will be from the new revised specifications that are unrelated to the previous ones. If disasters of the AQA Biology exam and Edexcel History exam are anything to go by, then A Level students are not in the wrong. Unfortunately some will be disappointed by their results. However I think that this leads us to injustice. The new government hope to pass laws where by voters have the right to sack their MP and the voting age will be lowered to 16. If these laws are passed then I am sure that the needs of young people will be listened to at the House of Commons and that MPs will be doing more just for young people. Now we have political reform. The next step is educational reform.

Although young people can call their MP to account, we cannot do so with the private exam boards which ultimately decide the future of 16 year olds, whether to do A Levels and then progress to university or to go into full time employment thus limiting their choices through no fault of their own. The media may claim that young people may choose to do whatever they like with their lives, but in reality their future is limited to the restraints of the exam boards. Students cannot take action against a private exam board where they are not accountable to students. Although some may not achieve academically this does not make them “evil and bad people.”

With rising university fees and limited places, it seems that it is going to be even harder than ever before for young people to improve their lives. Luckily the coalition government has promised to create 10,000 new university places. With a bit of luck let’s hope that they go to those that deserve and need them.

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