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Think again

FOR an assessment system whose designers have persisted in treating education, with all of the psychological complexities it involves, as a single large spreadsheet of perfectly standardised, perfectly interlocking parts, there is a certain poetic fitness in the fact that the new Scottish qualifications system has been so publicly undermined and humiliated, at the moment of its inauguration, by "computer failure".

It is alo a tragedy for all of the young people directly affected. As well as re-examining the certificates, it is surely also time to reassess the limitations of the mechanistic model on which this system has been designed and its appropriateness to education in the broadest sense as opposed to mechanical programmes of training. Those whom the SQA serves deserve no less.

Robert Bell

Stewarton Drive


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