Cancellation of the A-level in the UK and the continued school shutdowns across the country will affect the poor students more. The qualification for university this year will also be based on graded based on students’ past performance.
These changes and the ongoing coronavirus crisis will be catastrophic to poor students. The first problem they have encountered is continuing with their studies during the coronavirus crisis. Unlike privileged students, These students have not been able to gain access to online learning resources such as computers and the availability of laptops.
The second problem is that students from poor backgrounds perform better in final exams. Grading of school performance tends to be poor for these students, based on studies that predict students’ final exams score. The grading system, will, therefore, be discriminatory to these students and lower their chances of getting into universities.
These students are also facing a problem in deciding whether to go to a university or not. During A-levels, students would have ample time to think about what they wanted to do. However, its elimination means poor students will be disproportionately affected and may fail to apply to go to universities. Limitation of university entry via a foundation year will also heavily affect poor students.
In comparison to students from privileged families where the emphasis in education is paramount in the families and they are encouraged to pursue education, poor students have to constantly self-motivate themselves.
A solution to poor students
Based on the biased systems that will be used, these students already know they have no way of making grades for university. They will become disinterested in continued learning and this will result in loss of interest for further studies.
To avoid this, foundation year entry into the university should be used to keep these students interested in going to universities. The entry of the universities should be handed to all students from poor backgrounds. This will help them to engage with the university environment, which would, in turn, spark interest in their study.
While the foundation year will not be determinant on whether a student gets into an undergraduate program, they will help students acquire life skills and possibly motivate them to consider applying for undergraduate programs.
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