1.How do you evaluate your education in terms of quality?
I believe that overall my education is of a high quality because I am getting high grades in all the subjects that I am studying.
What are the pros and cons you observe?
- Teachers have a comprehensive understanding of their subject and are able to give understandable explanations of their subject.
- Majority of subjects for specialisation are optional, many topics allow a vast knowledge to be acquired.
- School offers clubs and other activities.
- Specialised tips etc given on personal development and form periods.
- Frequent tests prepare me for the future qualifications needed for potential jobs.
- Rich diversity of students and teachers along with the school providing facilities for different religions and beliefs allows cultural diversity and respect among others.
- School allows students to pace at their own speed while doing well.
- Textbooks and exercise books are provided as well as computers, printers and much more for organisation and work ease.
- Teachers offer catch up/help sessions at lunch times.
- Teachers give homework every day to keep students on track with classwork on the topic and re-enforce the learning done in school.
- Topics taught does not provide in-depth analysis, only what you need to know for the exams.
- Not all teachers provide written or verbal feedback.
- GCSE grades changed from A* – G to 9 – 1, which is more confusing.
- In year 7 and 8, three languages (options: German, Spanish, Latin and French) are taught (alternating terms), which does not allow deeper knowledge of each one.
- Subject options are limited and not all schools offer the same subjects. For instance, some schools offer Psychology, Drama, Politics or Business Studies at GCSE level but others don’t.
- Certain subjects are obligatory, so you have no choice but to study them.
- Common actions such as taxes or taking out a mortgage, banking, investing, general financing or even mannerism are things we are not taught about.
- Some children can lead to disruption and alter the educative environment, hence there should be more strict school policy.
- Do you think everyone has a good access to education in your country/region?
I believe that everybody in my country has access to education due to comprehensive schools but not necessarily a ‘good’ one.
For instance, thousands of private tutors are around Britain just to help 10-year olds to do the 11+ exam and gain a place at a Grammar School or/alternatively sit a Private School exam. I know this as one of my good friends is a math tutor. This creates an incredibly competitive examination with many intellectual young people that have just been overwhelmed by this experience hence missing out on ‘good’ or ‘superior’ education as they are purely focused on passing these crucial exams.
The education received by these kids in a school that wasn’t desired by them (has a lower achievement than other schools) is not what I believe to be inferior but instead I believe it to be the environment that affects them here – it’s not what they learn, it’s how they learn it. For instance, if they are in a class with disruptive or rude peers then their chance of learning decreases as the teacher spends time to control these pupils instead of teaching. This and also higher student numbers in a class mean that the educative process is interrupted and is of a lower quality.
3.What do you think would be a good idea to make education and access to education better in your country?
More schools each with more money from government to employ more teachers, create extra classes and facilities. This will allow individuals to not be drowned out and also let group workers still work in their favoured environment. Furthermore, this would fix class size and accessibility issues.
What could be done and who could do it?
I also believe that the GCSE choices are too early in a child’s life as they are lifechanging decisions and impact their future. As a replacement, I believe there should be after an exploratory year of subject choices for students to truly acknowledge their abilities and preferences, then over 3 years (where students are told the details of each subject) the GCSE studies should be done, each with an end of year exam that is averaged.
This could all be done by the government’s secretary of education.