Last year’s revelation of the GCSE marking scandal resulted in a retake by some 45,000 students and a reassessment by British education authorities on its educational system where they eventually came up with the idea of phasing out the GCSE with the EBacc. Could this be good?
First. Most everybody understands the value of education, and the GCSE in this case serves as a preparation for higher education. Everything has a purpose, and certainly, including education. While science and math are in some way influenced by technology, hence, these subjects has to upgrade as necessary; technology does not really touch English. Yes a century ago is still yes today, regardless of the terms or informalities you use; technology has little to nothing to do with it.
Second. This scandal only confirms that not everyone recognizes the fact that not everybody has the same learning ability. This time as technology is enhancing the way we learn, it has also been affecting our interest. This means because of technology there are those who are becoming more interested in gadgets and entertainment than their studies, and merely goes through the motion in school. Concentration is at its lowest, thus, learning becomes even slower to the slow learner.
Third. Because not everyone recognizes the second point, unrealistic bars have been set – resulting in the marking fiasco. In some way, this is actually true not only in the U.K. but in many parts of the world. Because of pressure from the educational system, teachers are forced to do something about it.
So, would the EBacc solve the real problem?
Obviously not. Although the EBacc could initially cause renewed interest among students and positivism among “elders”, it only diverted attention from the issue. It would simply make you think that things are under control now. And unless standards are lowered (which is not totally recommended), actual results would still be the same with the temptation to this time subtlety manipulate it – if only for the results’ sake.
Even as Glenys Stacey, Ofqual chief executive, said: “No teacher should be forced to choose between principles on the one hand and their students, school and career on the other”.
EBacc is not the system. Using it doesn’t really change the system. If you want to use it, fine; but Education Leaders has to address the three points mentioned above to at least come close to realistically desired results.
More so, while those three subjects are critical, do not let requirements be limited to such. After all, our ultimate preparation for ourselves and for generations to come is for life. Is our existence limited to science, math, and English? Thence, teach more on how to cope and live life to one’s fullest potential without compromising values.
What’s your take?