Many are beginning to doubt the system, or simply downright antagonize it. Teachers and Pupils alike have complained about what the new curriculum means for education, with teachers no longer being able to create their own coursework for their students. Below is a list of Pros and Cons about the system. Will they weigh up, making this system like any other, or will the negative outweigh the positive by several tons.
- Able to pass the course without exams- The new curriculum means that work done during the school year by pupils will contribute towards their final grade, along with the exam.
- Struggling students may not need to be examined under exam conditions- The new curriculum replaces Foundation, General and Credit with ‘National 3, 4 and 5’. Those sitting national 5 will get a normal exam however those sitting national 4 will be given an exam in their usual classes, and national 3 get no exam whatsoever. Could be a pro or con, depending on how you look at it. Could prevent stress for students.
- Struggling students may not need to be examined under exam conditions- This had to be mentioned in cons too. Having no exam wouldn’t look good on a CV and when you compare them to National 5, National 3 & 4 don’t look very impressive. Having no exam doesn’t help this.
- Teachers can no longer write their own coursework for the year- This came as a surprise to teachers and students all over the country. When schools returned after the summer holiday of 2012, Teachers were told that the government had created a strict set of topics that had to be taught in schools. This means more pressure for students because it is easier for examiners to get sick of marking the same old subject, which could result in the examiner giving a worse grade than they should have without even noticing.
Whether these pros and cons balance out is a debatable subject, so I will leave you to come to your own decision about this, Is the ‘National’ system a benefit to the young people of Scotland, or simply a publicity stunt to help the government get independence in the 2014 independence referendum.