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Pte 70 Score Essay on “Do you Think that there is any need for Change in the Education System in Your Country?”

Do you Think that there is any need for Change in the Education System in Your Country?

 

This essay examines the current situation in England and will, if at all, apply only in part to other countries. Educational tradition and emphasis vary widely, but the fact remains that whereas Eastern and some Western countries are producing young people well-trained for key employment and well-suited to modern life, England is, in 1990, signally failing to do either. How can this decline be reversed?

First, it should be understood that there is a dual system in England. The private, or fee-paying sector stands alongside the state, or free sector, but between the two there is a great gulf fixed. Standards in the private sector remain very high, and produce the best results both academically and behaviorally. A few independent grammar schools likewise succeed, and even fewer comprehensive schools.

The state sector is an almost unqualified failure. Many pupils leave school illiterate and innumerate and are fitted only for the lowest-grade jobs. The situation is so bad that both the Labor and the Conservative parties have education at the top of their respective agendas.

The decline dates from the 1960s, the era of drugs, protest, pop music and the hippy outlook. All this was a reaction against wartime restraints and disciplines, but with the coming of the new freedoms the best of the old tradition was lost. Suddenly the `teenager’ was invented. Neither home nor school could any longer exert discipline. In any case. the old sanctions, including corporal punishment, were made illegal. At the same time the economy was booming and there was plenty of work, and therefore money, for young people. So parents, even if they had ambitions for their children, were mostly powerless to instill incentive. At the same time the teaching profession lost heart in the face of classroom chaos and often personal intimidation. To complete the cause for decline, the educational theorists had been at work. Education became child-centered, which means that if little Willy doesn’t want to do his match, let him do what he wants. Competitiveness, both in the classroom and on the games field, was frowned on, because to lose, they said, made children feel inferior.

The consequence of all this was that teaching no longer attracted the best brains, and the profession plummeted in reputation. Both political parties now vie with each other in bringing forward plans to remedy a situation which, if not universally bad, is appalling in the densely-populated city areas.

Ideally, education should offer the pupil three main objectives. These are to fit well into society, to cope with modern types of employment, and to continue with self-education after school days. Commercially and industrially, England is becoming increasingly integrated into Europe. That, plus national pride and pride in oneself should provide incentive enough. The latent talent is there, but how can these incentives be imparted? And how can teacher quality and morale be improved? Not merely by throwing money at the problem.

There should be free and subsidized creche places, since most women have to work at least part-time. England has far too many single-parent families. Ideally there would be a return to the traditional family. Parents should help children at home and try to fire their enthusiasm for work. Parental partnership with teachers should be much closer.

State education should drop peripheral subjects and concentrate on the traditional teaching of reading, writing and arithmetic in the early years. Only when they are proficient in these should children branch out into other subjects. There should be state-run examinations at three-yearly intervals. These would not only check the child’s progress but also the teacher’s proficiency. A system of awards to both teachers and pupils could be introduced. All this implies a national curriculum geared to the objectives outlined above. At about age thirteen it will become obvious whether a child is suited to a science or an arts course, or to neither. Separate provision should then be made for all three categories. Youth Training Schemes for the third category should be greatly extended and made compulsory. There should be more technical colleges. Craftsmen should be encouraged to take on apprentices and the income of both should be subsidized.

The A level and university entrance systems in England are good, and should be preserved, and steps are being taken to improve the 0 level examinations which are now being replaced by the GCSE. The present Conservative government plans to implement many of these ideas. The real problem lies in the middle i.e. in primary and secondary education. Correct this, discard faddy theories, and the new ideas will rapidly bear fruit. Staff will improve, and will therefore be entitled to increased pay and better standing in the community.

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