On Friday I went to an exhibition and film primer, that was 2 years in the making, creatively crafted by the Young Historians Project, and listened to a panel consisting of some of the early pioneers of the Black Liberation Front, a British Black power organization created in 1971. It was fascinating hearing their experiences, and how they laid the foundations for Black Liberation in Britain. At the same time it was eerie listening to their past struggles as they sounded both strangely similar, but also alien to current black struggles in Britain and the diaspora.
In a brave move, the UK government released a world first ‘race audit’ that reveals inequalities in England in areas ranging from prison sentence lengths, employment, to mental health, but will this new data lead to change?
Why do we need to learn about Africa if we are not in Africa?
Today marks exactly four weeks since starting my job at Four Communications, a Marketing and PR agency. It’s been an interesting four weeks, mainly because of how new everything is. I’ve never had an ‘office’ type job before, but I’ve heard a lot about the infamous culture of the office, so as an ‘outsider’ to this new world, I thought I’d make a few mental notes on what I was experiencing.
Yesterday, author Roald Dahl’s widow revealed that Charlie was black but Dahl was persuaded to make him white. I find it so interesting the concept of white washing can be found tucked away in a book that was written more than 54 years ago. I know some people will think Charlie’s skin colour is not that deep, but to me this revelation points to a valuable home truth people of colour need to learn.
Last night I accompanied my cousin Rachel Nwokoro to the Totally Thames launch party, for 1-30th September Thames Festival Trust annual celebrations of the River Thames. Now at first, to any Londoners like myself, there’s not much to celebrate about the Thames, but I’ll explain why last night gave me a new found appreciation for England’s most notorious river.
I hate to break it to you, but they just might be.
For decades, the feminist movement has prioritised the problems of the middle-class white woman and scapegoated the problems faced by minorities. It has failed to address the experiences faced by the less-abled, non-white, non-cisgendered women.
Over the last two years, A-levels have been changing. The new A-level system sees some
subjects such as Biology, Chemistry and History using a new linear system of examination. Previously, A-levels were conducted on a modular basis, whereby students carried out AS examinations in their first year of sixth-form which equalled to 50% of their overall grade. In the second year, students took their A2 examinations which constitutes towards the final 50% of their A-level grade. Some subjects such as Maths and Politics followed the modular system this year but are currently being reformed. Under the new linear system, students take their final exams at the end of their two years at sixth form. Students fear that the new reforms are not accurately representing their efforts.
Sixth form student Kamsi claims that the new A-levels “[are not] a fair representation of a student’s academic commitment. Testing two years worth of content is unfair and it doesn’t give students the opportunity to showcase what they have actually learnt.”
The problem that many students have found is that under the new system they are in a
constant battle in the second year to remember the information that they learnt in the first. This often makes learning the second years’ content a lot harder as much of the information consumed is not properly digested as there is frankly too much content.
Under the old system, students were able to learn the first years’ content and take the
exams which counted towards their final grade. This meant that students did not have to
learn both years of content which made the volume of content much more manageable.
Fears have been cast over the effects that the reforms have on the mental health of
A-level student Ijaz Sultan explains “[a] trend among my peers in my college, in particular, was a growing doubt in [their] ability to do well.”
This belief has proven to be common among students undertaking the reformed A-levels. A larger volume of content to remember has seen exam pressure amongst students reach a new peak with many students finding it difficult to cope with the stress.
The A-level system and the UK’s education, in general, has often been criticised for not
teaching students to be creative or open minded but instead teaching students how to
A-level student Ivan, who has undertaken the new reforms, suggests “Linear A-levels just shows that the qualifications are designed to see how well you can remember lots of information [and] not actually educate you.”
Critics of the new system have highlighted the exam boards failures to sufficiently prepare students for the reformed examinations with claims that not enough specimen papers were produced to give students a chance to prepare for the new exams.
Later today, students across the country will be opening the envelopes containing the
grades that universities will be using to measure their abilities. Reports from various outlets have suggested that grade boundaries will be lowered to ensure that education standards do not fall and so that students’ efforts are fairly represented by the grades they receive.
This is bad news for the reforms which were implemented to improve standards nationally.
Hannah Bašić @hannahdellab
Striving to fill a massive gap in British news media, The Common Sense Network offers a solution to the lack of media plurality which sees just 3 companies own 71% of the UK’s newspaper market and the crippling polarisation that exists between the political left and right. TCS is attempting an ambitious yet possible task of having a 100% public funded news network for millennials by millennials, taking back ownership of our stories from the old boys whilst creating a platform for us all to engage with.