Grade-awarding-system is a lottery

Exam at school with student's taking educational admission test in class, thinking hard, writing ans

As of mid-February, students have lost half an academic year/ five per cent of their school career in learning time - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Among the piles of headlines of last week’s news, a particular highlight has many students roused.

The Prime Minister’s first acknowledgement of reopening nightclubs was a hot topic on many social media feeds and texting group chats.

The number of students who are old enough to witness the glory of Torquay night life will surely be added to by the time the restrictions are lifted.

Many of my own classmates at South Devon College entered the pandemic age 16 and will be turning 18 this year. 

Another trivial price-tag of lockdown, it stands as a reminder of how fast time is whizzing by.

With a lot of concern surrounding the current economic state with falling businesses and propaganda of the ‘magic money tree’, there should be more awareness of future impact on education outside of only exam results. 

Findings by the World Bank claim that a year of schooling increases an individual’s earnings by an average of eight per cent per year in an advanced economy such as the UK. 

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As of mid-February, students have lost half an academic year/ five per cent of their school career in learning time. 

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has claimed the time lost for students will potentially cost the nation’s 8.7 million school children £350 billion in total. 

The Department of Education have pledged an extra £300 million in addition to an existing £1 billion for catch-up services in England.

The IFS claim this is 'tiny in comparison with the scale of the problem'.

University students are not eligible for this catch-up service. As a private institution, the Government do not have any legal obligation to extend this invitation nor are there any plans in place for relief.

Notably, we should all be lenient with these temporary solutions and patient with the available aid. 

However, it also makes the anticipated grade-awarding system a lottery.

Teachers are currently collecting evidence towards these final grades in the form of essays and coursework and this will continue over these next few months. 

This already has some stemming issues. It gives the illusion more work is being set than if I were to be in the classroom. Work performances inevitably do not match those from a pre-Covid world, but these crucial pieces of work will be based on content we have learnt virtually - quality of face-to-face proving to be unmatched.

There is no ideal solution and no better evaluator than a teacher in these circumstances but higher education students need more clarity and a more proactive course of action.