A-Levels: If it is Anything Below an ‘A’ Do We Really Care?

We often discuss the stress and anxiety that comes with A-levels, but today I beg the question: what is their real purpose in everyday teenagers' lives? And why do we fail as a society to see the true meaning that each brown paper envelope holds to each individual?

Take Tom Daley for instance. He is young, talented, sporty and good looking- his rise to fame through his Olympic bronze last summer would suggest his astonishing A* A A, outcome on Thursday was simply a stroke of luck and means nothing to the young star. This argument in retrospect seems quite likely, so why on earth would heart throb Tom Daley need three A-levels at Russell group level to succeed in life? Quite simply, he doesn't.

Now we travel to the other end of the spectrum and in fact the other side of the world when we think of Katie Gee and Kirstie Trup. Two incredible 18-year-old girls not known due to Olympic stardom, but instead as victims in the horrific acid attack that happened last week as the girls continued their charity work at an orphanage in Tanzania. Their results and acceptance to the universities of their choice means the world to these girls, so I again suggest that we as a society fail to see the true meaning of each brown paper envelope to each student.

The Opposing Education Systems of Finland and South Korea

A recent report placed Finland and South Korea as the best two education systems in the world. Student writer Jacqueline looks at these two very different school systems:

The Finnish education system is far from demanding of its students and adopts an emphasis on development instead of competition. The relaxed system possesses principles of comfortable learning and provides merely a play date for students, leaving them with a lack of preparation for the real working world. The 6 hour school day is acknowledged as the "least number of hours in class per week in the developed world" which is hardly comparable to South Korea's intense 13 hour school days which push their students to extremes to achieve astonishing results whilst robbing them of their childhood.

The Impact of Culture

Culture is a large contributor to the success of an education system and its chosen teaching styles. The South Korean system is based on strong Confucian ideals including high culture, hard work and social relations between the young and old. After evaluating the recent learning curve report, the Times Higher Education presents the argument that "promoting a culture that is supportive of education is more important than the amount of money invested".

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