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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thoughts on Reforming the Education System

Yesterday, I had a Moot to do. I've never done one before so I wasn't quite sure how it would go and as I prepared my mind started wandering. In England, there's a never ending debate on the merits of the educational system: GCSE's being too easy, Oxford and Cambridge reinforcing the class and race imbalance by being ""elitist" and "institutionally racist" and then I thought to myself: Why don't University exams run from a centralized examination authority? By this, I mean like the A Levels system where you have different exam boards and all students nationwide taking the same modules pretty much writing the same exams. For one, it's a more objective measure than the current method. It would also create greater incentive on the teacher's part to assist students. I hate this thing that goes on at University where you're not allowed to ask teachers' any questions relating to assessments. It's unfair that if one has genuine concerns, the teachers aren't exactly bound to help.I'm not going to say they don't care about how students do 'cos that would be a lie but I think they could do a bit more. I remember how passionate my 6th form teachers were. I don't see the same thing at University. (Spare me the "Oh! The point of University is to do it all on your own" crap. I'm not asking anyone to write me an essay. Just asking them to help a bit more). And then, it also helps alleviate the class imbalance in the sense that like at A levels, it's the grade that matters and not particularly the school one went to. (An AAB at Eton is no different from an AAB at the local state school). We won't have to hear some Universities decried for their "mickey mouse" degrees. By extension, this would ensure those universities sat up.

I would also argue that there should be greater emphasis on practicality in the Education sector. My feelings with studying Law are always changing. 85% of the time I'm pretty sure I don't intend to be a Lawyer or waste my time going to Law School and all that. I'll rather work at a media house doing something I genuinely enjoy. However, the other 15% of the time sees me genuinely enjoying Law. Probably after watching 'The Good Wife' and seeing Alicia Florrick dismantle everything and anything. For instance, on Tuesday night I tweeted "One of those times, I wish I wasn't studying Law" whilst preparing for the Moot. 24 hours later, after the Moot (despite being given intense grilling by the Judges)  I was thinking to myself "This wasn't bad, you know." I enjoyed it and would love to do it again: so I can prepare even better and annihilate my opponents. (My friends and I are even thinking of setting up a Mooting society). The educational system is all theory, no practicality. I really don't care what Jeremy Bentham said a million years ago. I want to know how things in the real world work.  Providing a practical element helps students gain a key understanding of how the real work works and ensures that they are well prepared. Why not add a compulsory 3 month period to the course where they are assigned to shadow someone in industry?

Have a great weekend.

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