The global pandemic that started in 2020 due to the coronavirus disrupted a lot of things for most countries and one of the most affected places was the education system. The academic side of the students and their careers have been affected at large. Due to exams getting postponed or cancelled, a lot of students were not able to get the required certificate within the right amount of time. This has caused frustration among the candidates appearing for the mock examinations and the government and the educational authority of the United Kingdom have paid special attention to this now. The government is trying to keep the measures for the mock examinations similar to those who were preparing for the exams in the first part of 2021. The government acknowledges the fact the learning that has been lost in the time of pandemic will take several years to recover. The grades will be provided based on generosity, however, the merit prizes for pupils have been kept on hold for now. There was a massive confusion created initially regarding how the grades would be provided. The educational authorities came up with a conclusion that it would be based on the evidence such as optional use of the questions in the mock exams and different coursework presented by the students. Everything will be based on essays and class tests and the papers will be checked using a method called random sampling. There will be target scrutiny of schools with different sets of papers. The checking and marking category will be different from the contemporary one. Everyone should slowly fall in place with this conventional form of holding mock exams.
The grades will have to be signed off by the departmental heads and the headteachers. There is a dependency on the answer sheet checking the ability of the teachers. Many have proposed on how the new marking and exam implementation program should look like. All the proposals need to be made keeping in mind the guidelines of the coronavirus rules and regulations in the UK. The proposals also include the responses from Ofqual. All the consultations are based on the qualifications between July and December 2020. There have been discussions with the stakeholders as well before implementing anything. The proposals are also based on the NEA agreements and fieldwork requirements for the year ending 2022, which were confirmed on 16h June by Ofqual. The consultation comes with a set of suggestions to measure the disruption caused due to the pandemic to the student’s education program. The choice of topics in the GCSE English literature and ancient history and also in geography is the first criteria for selection. The second one is the changes as per the new requirements for the implementation of physical activities related to the science subjects and also the assessment of design and art. The provision of the advanced information will be focused on the content of the exams and the majority of the subjects in GCSE. Both levels such as an A will be considered here. Also, the provision of support material in the GCSE will be considered here relating to subjects such as mathematics, combined sciences, and physics. The annexure will be handed out to all the responsible parties and for agreeing or approving the consultation, an audience will be put in place. There will be unions related to schools, exam offices, exam boards, etc. Among the audience, there will be students and also private candidates who will be taking the GCSE mock exams. Also, the legal guardians of these students will be present there. The independent parties that will be using qualifications for making selection decisions for higher education will also be a part of the education and employee committee.
The possibility of running exams in the normal way from the coming years is the standard expectation of this deciding committee. The ongoing issues with opening schools and colleges is a challenge and, in this way, the full curriculum might not be completed and the education of the students will lack. The proposal of a package of different adaptations for students for GCSE, AS and A level qualifications will provide students with the opportunity to feel confident and will also allow them to be prepared for the examinations as they are getting the ideal material to study in which they will feel less daunting. The way this program is designed, it would not be possible to take a similar kind of study approach in all the subjects. Rather, the students can focus on the prime subjects, in which they may major later on. This will have a very good impact on the students and will assist them in keeping up morale for preparing. Not preparing at all and sitting idle in hopes of schools reopening is not such a smart career decision. Now it depends on the centers of examination, whether they will agree to the proposal or not as all educational institutions have their way of doing things. Furthermore, this program also promotes practical science work, which was not proposed by any other study from home program previously. The students and teachers and provided the opportunity to deliver practical science work that will be demonstrated over the years 2020 and 2021. The same opportunity will be provided to the teachers of geology and astronomy so that the pupils in these subjects can excel as well. The proposal made here was that these kinds of practical works should continue till 2022. It is always a preferable option for students to take part in practical works during their course of study. It would be a good decision if, under these circumstances, this program of practical work is carrying forward. The teachers should be focusing on how they will be using the available time to connect with the students more, share progress reports, clear doubts, etc. One-on-one communication is something that will be required here and effective counselling during these times will be even more required as the meeting is time-limited during this pandemic.