We say ‘No more’ to Education Reforms: Education should be in our hands!

Dolapo Okunuga, the winner of our sixth form blog competition, argues that education policy should include teachers and students in the decision making process.

“Progress eight anybody?” Teacher regular renewal licence?”

It infuriates the teachers, it angers the students. It’s one person holding the great power of choosing and deciding our education. Education is key for everything in life. Why therefore should there be regular education changes that affects us as students?

Education must be one of the most undemocratic feature in our British representative system. Nothing of it is democratic. Are we as learners informed? Are we told before the proposals becomes official reforms?  How is it then representative of us?  The irregular reforms introduced any time, just erodes the true meaning of tradition. The Conservatives call themselves a party of tradition. So what’s traditional about the fact that one year group gets to do modular in exams, whilst a few months later, the next year group are told to do linear?

It’s unbalanced, unfair and inconsistent, if one year gets the benefits of retaking exams in January whilst one year doesn’t. It creates unbelievable scenarios between siblings.  When your sister done her AS but now you will never get the chance to; or your brother was able to have done modular assessments, but now there’s no such thing.  Education reforms should take gradual steps before being implemented into the system. Each reform is greatly dramatic. It affects us, the learners. It’s our education, its matters to us. For teachers too, it’s putting so much pressure on them to carry out such policies.

The coalition government has introduced reforms.  However, statistics from numerous of polls and sources suggests that a majority say councils should keep responsibilities over schools and that teaching profession requires dedicated training. It was particularly interesting that David Laws, the Liberal Democrat Schools Minister in April 2014,  talked about this controversial issue, in these terms:  “some politicians seek consensus, and others prefer their “dividing lines” – they search out controversy and seek to perpetuate it.” Michael Gove had his fair bit of fame, all the media attention and all that. Well nothing has benefited us, has it?  Now Michael Gove has left his unforgotten legacy to be re positioned as Chief Whip, whilst the scars and burdens of his reforms still remain.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m trying to shame all politicians, as after all, it’s all hard work and effort.  However, Michael Gove held and exerted far too much power as Education Secretary.  We now constantly keep an eye on the next new comers to the role and watch with careful eyes the new reforms they propose.

We say Britain is a representative democracy, but when it comes to education it is not. We are the students, we should be offered the opportunity to express what is suited for us, after all the education system is made for us, hopefully to benefit us. If we as students of the UK believe re-introducing January exams will be good for us, so be it. We are the ones going through the pressure and stress.

Therefore my plea, is for education secretaries to be more accountable, there should be a lot more involvement of teachers and students when it comes to proposing laws regarding education. I appreciate strongly our democratic system of politics in the UK.

However, I shall stand up with confidence and defend all students’ right to a healthy education. Stop the imbalance within education, stop the harsh decisions of taking away important features such as AS levels. Stop dictating our lives by making dealing with exam stress harder.

So no more to education reforms. Education should be in our hands!

Dolapo Okunuga is a sixth form politics student at Ilford Ursuline Sixth Form.  

Photo credit: Flickr

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