Teenagers in Scotland received their exam results on 8 August 2017. But while many were celebrating, others didn’t get the results they wanted. And Scotland’s response was brilliant. Hundreds of people used social media to promote the #nowrongpath hashtag and show that exam results do not define who you are or what you do.
Success should indeed be celebrated. Teenagers who worked hard and got the results they wanted deserve congratulations on what they’ve achieved.
Celebrating another way
But among the celebrations, it is important to remember those who didn’t get the grades they wanted or deserved. This is where the hashtag came in. It aimed to show teenagers that not getting the right results is not the end of their dreams. And it showed there are many ways to achieve their goals in life:
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— Kelly Given (@kellygivenX) August 8, 2017
— Orkney College UHI (@OrkneyCollege) August 8, 2017
But the hashtag also showed that people’s lives do not take a linear path. And those who went to university didn’t always end up in the careers they thought they wanted to enter:
— Fraser Macpherson (@dundeewestend) August 8, 2017
Scotland leading the way
But it isn’t just this attitude towards exam results that shows Scotland is leading the way in education. Schools in Scotland don’t formally assess children in the way English schools do. In England, children as young as six are subjected to testing. And in May 2017, 82% of primary school leaders who took part in a survey said that mental health problems in children increased at the time of the exams.
Meanwhile, the system is Scotland is geared up to the needs of the child. According to The School Run website
But it’s up to the teacher to decide when the student will sit the exam, and assessments aren’t decided solely on exam results. The exams are used for teachers to confirm their own judgment of how a student is performing.
And this attitude towards education runs right from primary to university. Students living in Scotland do not have to pay tuition fees if they go to university in Scotland.
Meanwhile in England…
England’s education system is failing a generation of children. Primary school children are being made to feel like failures because they can’t answer obscure grammatical questions that government ministers struggle to get right. And at the other end of the spectrum, university students are graduating with crippling debts and are increasingly feeling like commodities.
But the Scottish system shows it doesn’t have to be this way. And this hashtag is a beautiful example and reminder that gaining the right bit of paper does not mean your life has ended or you cannot achieve your dreams.
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