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Tory Plans for Education
This is my site Written by Fred Hart on August 16, 2009 – 12:28

Exam DesksYou may have heard about the new Conservative Party plans for the education system, which include a proposal to get more pupils through “harder A-levels” – maths and physics. As someone who is about to start A-level courses, this is a story I took particular interest in.

Whilst it sounds like a good idea at first glance, when you take a closer look you realise that this proposal is flawed:

The proposals for England also suggest awarding fewer points for subjects seen as easier, such as media studies.

Quoted from BBC News

This system is flawed, for the reason that it “doesn’t cater for students’ individual needs”. You can not have an exam system in which students are automatically at a disadvantage simply because they chose what is seen as an easier subject. In fact the whole system of easier versus harder subjects is flawed, because it implies that all students interests and abilities are the same.

When writing about the current system of education, Conservative MP Michael Gove wrote:

Some schools lead pupils towards qualifications which may not be in their interests, but which are easier to pass…

Quoted from BBC News

I’m not saying this doesn’t happen, but this is something I’ve never come accross. But if this is something that isn’t uncommon, why should students who are choosing subjects because they are genuinely interested in them (and not simply because they are “easy”) be punished for it?

In my opinion, the government needs to focus on getting rid of the (often stereotypical views) about certain subjects… that means consulting with the exam boards to change the subjects’ contents to something that will mean the subject can’t be seen as “easy”.

Changing what each subject is worth won’t change anything – at the end of the day someone who has wants to work in certain industries will do a media studies course and will then be applying for jobs that require a media studies course… how many points they got from it will be irrelevant, and whether they have a physics A-level will be irrelevant (generally… there are probably some exceptions, but lets not make things complicated)!

I’ll leave you with one final though: the subjects I’ve chosen to do at college are Geography, German, IT, Music Technology and Journalism. Are they classed as “easy” subjects or are they “harder” subjects? Personally, I think this is irrelevant: what does matter is that they are all subjects I enjoy and am genuinely interested in.

The image used was created by Flickr member Jack Hynes, and it has been used under a Creative Commons license.

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