Saturday, March 23, 2019
Schools in England opt out of international tolerance and cultural awareness test:- Sernia Sandhu
Schools in England have opted out of taking part in a new international test which aims to assess students’ tolerance, respect for other cultures and attitudes towards diversity. The Global Competence assessment, part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, has been launched because of the need for people to be able to work in interconnected and increasingly diverse societies. The assessment is designed to see how well young people are prepared to work with those from different backgrounds. It addresses issues such as cultural awareness and racism and the results of the assessment are intended to inform leaders and teachers, as well as educational policies.
Ranking education systems The PISA ranking is a method of comparing the education systems in different countries. Andreas Schleicher, the OECD’s education director, said some of the most successful education systems were often the most diverse. However the Department for Education said it thought the new test would place too much strain on students – a decision that was welcomed by some school leaders. Ireland, the US, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland have all decided against taking the assessment but they will take part in the other Pisa tests for maths, science and reading. Around 28 countries, including Scotland and Canada, will take the test when it launches later this year.
Mr Schleicher said some countries may not want to be compared by measures relating to tolerance and cultural awareness. Speaking at the Education World Forum in London, Mr Schleicher said: “I think and fear a number of countries said, ‘well we’re maybe not ready for it’. “I take a different view of it. I think the only way to get serious, the only way to get started with this is to look at the truth. There’s nothing that we gain by not looking at those kinds of outcome,” he said, according to TES. He suggested the lack of global competence teaching may have contributed to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. The Global Competence assessment would highlight the countries that paid “lip service” to being tolerant and inclusive by finding out what students actually thought, he said, according to the BBC. Living harmoniously According to the OECD, global competence is needed so people can live harmoniously in multicultural communities and thrive in the labour market. When asked about the decision for schools in England to not take part in the assessment, the Department for Education (DfE) said: “All schools are already required to teach pupils to have a mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs, so in order to not place additional burden on them, we will not be taking part in this smaller scale Global Competence assessment.” The DfE confirmed schools would be taking part in the other Pisa tests, adding that it valued that data they provided on the school system. Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told i: “Workload is a huge issue for schools in England and we think that the Department for Education has made the right call in deciding against additional Pisa tests which would have placed another burden on schools. “All schools are required to promote the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. They take that duty very seriously and it is a major focus of Ofsted inspections.”

E-Paper Preview
Stock Watch
BSE Sensex
NSE Nifty
Cricket Scorecard
© 2009-2010 All Rights Reserved. The Northern Times Newspaper Developed By Ideogram Technology Solutions [P] Ltd.