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Stressed children lose interest in education

4 April 2015 19:18


Young children in England are suffering from panic attacks and some are even self harming due to the overwhelming pressure and focus now placed on tests and exams.

One teacher said: “…I had a Year 6 pupil turn to physical self-harming which she attributed to the pressure she felt to achieve a level similar to that of her peers, and to hit a level four in Sats. She is severely dyslexic and an incredibly hard worker.”

Ninety percent of the 8000 teachers polled said many pupils are being asked to learn things they are simply not ready for with 96% saying, children develop a lack of motivation and confidence when they see a disparity between themselves and other students.

Research commissioned by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) suggests the current system leads to some children losing an interest in education. It also claimed subjects that foster creativity like music, art and design are being pushed out in the final year of primary school, to place more focus on reading, writing and maths in the run up to national curriculum tests, more commonly known as SATs.

It has been argued that performance driven targets are negatively impacting students in schools, and the education system is far too rigid. NUT general secretary Christine Blower said her union has “long argued that league tables, high-stakes testing and other accountability measures have a negative effect on children and young people. What gets lost for those who matter most, the pupils is the rounded education that we all wish to see and the emotional and pastoral support that children and young people also need from their teachers.”

In April of last year teachers called for a boycott of tests on children as young as four years old, warning that tests like this to pupils so young will “create a feeling of failure in children and pressure on parents”.

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