Look to Finland for a more equitable education system, writes Chris Sinha, while Michael Symonds says regurgitating information in exams doesn’t help in life and Derrick Joad accuses the government of punishing independent thinking
Full marks to George Monbiot for his critique of the English school exam system (England’s punitive exam system is only good at one thing: preserving privilege, 27 April). He asks what would a fair, rounded 21st-century education look like.
One answer would be to look at Finland, where there are no exams before school leaving and no league tables. All assessment is teacher-based, geared to guiding further learning. Teachers enjoy high professional autonomy, grounded in their own education to master’s level. The Finnish system is avowedly egalitarian, with the aim of minimising social inequalities. All students receive free school meals. And guess what? Finland outperforms the UK not only in terms of wellbeing and life satisfaction of 15-year-olds, but also in their performance in the OECD Pisa tests, based on reading, mathematics and science.
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