By David Myles
Education has always been in our hands: Online educational resources for children and young people amid COVID-19 lockdown
Within the last month, millions of parents became home educators of their children literally overnight due to the ongoing COVID-19 endemic sweeping across the UK and government restrictions on people’s movements.
The UK government declared that exam results for both General Secondary of Education Certificates (GCSEs) which are typically taken at 16 and General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Levels (A-levels) which are usually sat between 16- 18, will be predicted by school teachers.
Considering that only 16% of predicted A-level results are accurate, with only one in six applicants for university places having an accurate grade prediction according to a 2016 report by the University College London’s Institute of Education (IOE); one can begin to realise the impact of relying on teacher grade predictions. The issue is only exacerbated when race is added to the equation.
Research conducted by the Department for Innovation and Skills in 2011 revealed that only 39.1% of grade predictions for black A-level applicants are correct (the lowest accuracy prediction across all groups), in comparison to their white peers who had a prediction accuracy rate of 53% (highest predicted across all groups). Although the former study is more than 9 years old, many believe little has changed.
One such parent is Hortense whose daughter sat A-levels examinations in 2018 and outperformed all but 4 out of 5 of her subject predictions. ‘’My daughter got an A* for Chemistry, but was predicted a B and achieved an A* for Physics, but was predicted an A. For both Maths (Maths and Further Maths), she was predicted a B grade but got an A grade for both. It was only Biology that was right. She got a B grade and was predicted to get this.’’
Speaking on the decision for teachers to predict grades Hortense said ‘’It is not right. I mean they already predict grades and many children do better than what is predicted, but at least they can outperform these predictions.’’ She adds ‘’that is if they are not put in the lower tier group.’’
‘’I find that black children suffer biased assessments of their ability. My daughter used to attend a Saturday school and I feel this really helped her with not only her grades but her confidence to excel. They really believed in her and acted as role models for her.’’
Hortense also has a son who was expected to sit his A-levels in May/June 2020. She is currently exploring options for him to take his exams next year. ‘’I am seriously looking into arranging another time for my son to sit his exams; hopefully earlier than summer next year. I don’t mind paying extra if I need to.’’ She admits ‘’He is not happy about it as he was looking forward to going to college (university) later this year. I may have to home educate him for a whole year to make sure he gets the grades he deserves. After my daughter’s predictions, I am not taking any risks. She is now at Cardiff (university) studying to become a doctor.’’
Blam is running a survey to establish the need for a free advocacy service that will provide support to black Britons who will be affected by the government’s decision to grant teachers the power to predict pupils GCSE and A-level examination grades for 2020. To complete the survey, please visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfSAnYJJiM7xeZsYQINZwkahnhfS5VoFULjiClUElk2JMkglQ/viewform?fbclid=IwAR22QS-2VgXuoYzslxy-ELLLnTYBl182bBnmojbuXzz4gh6yMF6hwqHvfJg
The following are a list of some black run online resources for parents to assist their children and young people during the COVID-19 lockdown. The list is comprised of both academic and cultural resources.
Mind Over Body Chess Academy
Amosu Awoyemi of Mind Over Body Chess will be teaching chess for FREE until Friday 17th April 2020 via the application Zoom. Priority will be given to children and young people, but spaces will even be allocated to adults also. Interested? All that is required is a chessboard (no chess app) and a Zoom app.
Contact Amosu to book your time slot which will be available between 9 am – 19:00 (GMT).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org today for your FREE 1:1 class.
Manhood Academy Global (MAG)
Every Thursday MAG is offering ‘Teaching Leadership through Chess’. During the weekly sessions, you will learn checkmate, foresight and leadership all through the components that are used on the chessboard. You will also learn about values and family bonding. Sessions are from 19:00 – 20:00 (GMT) and are suitable for both girls and boys of all age groups.
Every Saturday from 10:00 am – 10:30 am (GMT) live via Zoom, Manhood Academy will be hosting a FREE live interactive session for boys ‘Raising Boys Into Men’. The sessions are suitable for 8 – 12-year-olds.
MAG also provide sessions for parents. Details can be found on their website.
The access codes for both the Wednesday and Thursdays sessions can be obtained via www.manhoodacademyglobal.com
Andrew Muhammad and the Westside Young Leaders Academy
From Wednesday 15th April, the team at West Young Leaders Academy (WYLA) will be hosting weekly sessions themed on the ’13 steps of success.’ The sessions will be hosted by the investigator, Andrew Muhammad and will be facilitated by some of the UK’s leading practitioners. Limited spaces are available. Weekly sessions will take place every Wednesday from 16:00 (GMT sharp).
The founder of WYLA, Andrew Muhammad will also be running free movie breakdown and motivational sessions every Tuesday and Thursday from 19:00 (GMT). Muhammad said that the event is ‘’ designed for the whole family to be inspired, motivated and educated in the unique INVESTIGATOR style’’.
WYLA is currently still accepting new students. WYLA’s registration form can be downloaded from their website and should be returned by email to email@example.com
Teacher by profession, David Simon founded Simon Education (formerly Ebony Education) over 30 years ago. On Saturday 9th May 2020 from 11:00 – 12:30 (GMT). Simon will present a free online 11 step guide based on his bestselling book ‘How to Unlock Your Child’s Genius.’
For further information visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-unlock-your-childs-genius-online-course-level-1-tickets-102016032700?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch&fbclid=IwAR3hjMLcbOHLdvAlRp8qz5hj4-Mn5uynoIGyZv5KlUtzXjXMw9t1n_usv8I
Entrepreneur business coach, motivational speaker and youth mentor, Julian Hall has created an app. The objective is to teach children from 8 – 14 years entrepreneurship skills. What are you waiting for? The app will be entirely FREE for the next few months.
To download the app visit: https://onelink.to/9m45s9?fbclid=IwAR3Gl-NpPt0VSAOkZcSLVpVDGyyzxw2oUuPUwR1LysUvShI0GYAk9Oxd6T8
Jewels 4 Mind
Operating out of the U.S.A, founder Keith Turner provides educational material for a myriad of subjects; particularly Black history, Science and Mathematics.
Content is available via https://jewels4dmind.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=b1c791fe72dc76b16014846fb&id=bbaf72b990
Massachusetts based graphic designer, Leon X Clayton designs personalised homework sheets that offer fun activities that help children improve their literacy and numeracy skills.