Although it may not seem it, this pandemic will be very tough on young people. I’m sure many schoolchildren will be joyous to the idea of the rest of the school year being cancelled, but this has most certainly come at the cost of vital education, particularly for those sitting A-Levels and GCSEs. Luckily I despise exams, however many of my classmates feel that their opportunity to flourish and get the grades they want are being thrown away.
There are currently no workable solutions to this problem, but the ill-preparedness and inactivity of our Government in the domain of education has been appalling. The replacement of exams with ‘teachers assessments’ are a lazy excuse to over-work and put pressure on already underpaid teachers, with the likelihood of biases becoming prevalent leading to fully capable young people not achieving their desired grades. Teachers assessments put working-class and minority students at a huge disadvantage.
Students who aren’t taking their exams this year will also have to adjust. They will have to learn a huge proportion of their syllabus without their teacher, and be expected to use it in next year’s exams. If this pandemic has shown us anything, it is that the education system should be reformed. Exams are not beneficial to the student and set an unrealistic expectation on how a student will be off of a singular exam performance.
Schools are also places of solitude for many young people. Despite what many people may say, some find comfort and normality in schools. Although children of key workers and children within vulnerable families are still able to attend, this is not good enough. I can name countless young people I know who rely on schools as support systems, despite not being in the ‘vulnerable’ category. Many young people today suffer from mental health issues, identity issues and addictions. They cannot be swept under the rug at this time as their issues will just end up growing much larger.
I encourage all young people who are against the current ill-prepared government to be as noisy as possible. Social Media is the most valuable tool at this time and I anticipate that many more people will be using it to voice their concerns.
I also encourage every member who has young people within their household to discuss the current situation with them. Big issues can be a strain on young people’s minds. I do believe that despite us being the least vulnerable to the effects of the virus, we just might be the ones who are left in debt by the end of this.
CLP Youth Officer