If Michael Gove’s plans had been in place when I was at school I would of been left on the scrap heap.one of the challenges I faced when growing up was dealing with my Dyslexia.
dyslexia has recently been defined as “a learning difficulty which primary affects skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling” back when I was at school there was still much confusion and misunderstanding around the condition.for a while I struggled and had been labelled thick,but some of my teachers saw something in me they nurtured me and fought for me to be tested and confirmed that I had dyslexia.their perseverance and guidance help give me the confidence and belief in myself.
So lets that move on to how Mr Gove’s back to the past reforms will lead to people like myself being worse of.with changes to how exams will be marked which could lead to a pupil that had shown a perfect understanding and knowledge of a subject but had issues around spelling due to dyslexia could end up with a lower grade then a good speller who had done less well in the actual subject questions.
The prospect of pinning everything on an all or nothing exam instead of a combination of course work and exam is a step backwards. The all party commons education select committee has raised serious concerns in the plans and the timetable.this has left Mr Gove becoming more isolated in his ideals yet he refuses to listen to educators,parents or fellow MP’s.
Getting back to how this effects people with dyslexia. the majority of the 4,000 specialist dyslexia teachers introduced in 2009 have now been made redundant and the government have withdrawn funding for a helpline for dyslexia support.we are don’t seek to use our condition as an excuse or any kind of advantage,all we ask is an chance to show what we can do,an equal footing but these changes are a massive step back.
But this is not the only issue I have with something Mr Gove is planing.
Mary Jane Seacole (1805 – 14 May 1881), née Grant,was a Jamaican-born woman of Scottish and Creole descent who set up a ‘British Hotel’ behind the lines during the Crimean War, which she described as “a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers,” and provided succour for wounded servicemen on the battlefield. She was posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit in 1991. In 2004 she was voted the greatest Black Briton.
I was dismayed to hear of the proposal to remove Mary Seacole from the National Curriculum.After years of her achievements being largely ignored it was only after a tireless campaign that she was recognised for her work.
when I was studying for my GCSE over 20 years ago the make up of the nation was different then it is today.It was difficult to look up and see role modelsI could identify with, And there in front of me in my text book was this amazing inspirational woman who like me was of Mixed descent.The school text books still have a lack of positive role models for BME children and removing Mary seacole would be a step backwards.
Mary Seacole may well of been born in Jamaica but she rightly consisdered herself as British.Her life and story is a useful introducion to the questions of britishness and Empire,reminding us of the complications and layers of contradiction that this invokes.It is also a lesson for our multi-ethnic society to appreciate you not need to be black to have empathy for her amazing story. Her story shows that race is not an insurmountable obstacle and to BME kids growing up it shows you can be British and Jamaican or British and Pakistani or British and Eastern European.