The problem is compulsion

29th October 2004 at 01:00
What is the point of a new examination system? Will it "raise standards"? Will it make pupils any more willing to study than the GCSE, the GCE, the CSE. or the School Certificate? It will certainly cost a lot of money.

Is it, however, destined to be replaced, like all the rest, when it is seen not to have delivered? Will teenagers have any say about whether or not they study for a "diploma"? Will they have any more control than they do now over what they study, when and where they study it, or who teaches them and for how long?

Attitudes towards enforced study for an exam are bound to remain as they are at present. GCSE or Baccalaureate diploma, it will make no difference to young people as long as the important decisions regarding what they are to learn are in other people's hands.

To pupils it is just more of the same. The Government would do better considering the degree of compulsion in secondary education and its consequences. This latest exercise will, I suspect, cost a lot and achieve next to nothing.

There are more important directions the education service should move in.

AJ Marsden

9 Chester Drive

Ramsbottom, Lancashire

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