Public opinion plays a pivotal role in the decision making the process of the government in almost every nation. Democracy begins with people, works for people and ends with people. Countries which believes in democracy will acknowledge the importance of the opinion of its mass. The general public is the foundation of polity in any nation and thus an important issue pertaining to the nation needs the opinion of the people. The views, ideas, perception and bent of mind of people consists opinion and thus it is more than important for the government to consider these opinions while taking any decision. In this particular study, the importance of public opinion of UK in context to the reformation of the education system is discussed.
Now, based on the public polls the state authority has to decide as to which is the prime issue that the nation is facing at present which needs immediate attention. Therefore, it has been observed from the poll that education reform has been given more stress by the common mass. It has been observed that countries are following the old education approach and thus the students are not enhancing their skills. Therefore, an urgent reformation of the education system is the need of the hour. In this context, the study discusses the main reasons for which the education reformation is required. The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), need certain reformations in order to help students to learn and achieve better.
Certain important reasons related to the reformation of the education system is discussed in the study. Apart from this, the study also discusses the importance of the opinion of the general public in the reformation of the education policies and the system as a whole. In the context of education reform, the important stakeholders whose opinions are to be considered by the state authority are discussed in the study. Education reformation refers to the changes that are to be incorporated in the teaching methodology as well as in the administrative processes. This will help in improving the overall productivity of the education system. Therefore, this study discusses the urgency of education reform for the upliftment of the society as a whole. Along with this the study also focuses on the importance of public opinion in this context. The role, advantages and disadvantages of the opinion of the general public in the reformation of education is discussed. The impact of public polls on the reformation of UK education system is also elaborated in the study. Public opinion of UK and all its variables pertaining to The General Certificate of Secondary Education is broadly discussed in the study.
According to Crespi (2011), almost in every country, an old education system was being followed. As because the public poll indicated an immediate reformation in the education system, the government had to revise and reform its policies of education. Following the same education, policies paved the way for stagnancy and less quality. It has been observed that under the old education system, the teachers were not delivering quality education to the students. Davison (2015) stated that teachers and professors play a pivotal role in shaping the futures of the students and students are the future of the nation. Therefore, it is important that teachers deliver an excellent education to their students. Education is directly related to inculcating ethics, the sense of morality and empathy in students and education is an important issue at present times.
According to Gallup (2012), education is directly related to teachers, therefore the government has emphasized on improving the productivity of the teachers. The revamped policies of the government have been related to teachers. Now, under the new education policies, the interaction between students and teacher are given more interest. The pattern of study that both the teachers and students approve has been incorporated into the syllabus. The teachers are encouraged more and more on taking up research and other curricular activities along with taking regular classes.
The performance of the teachers is assessed and based on this performance they are rewarded. In India, the government stressed more on transforming the infrastructure of the education system. This implies that educational institution across the nation is aimed to have a Wi-Fi connection. Then again, classrooms are converted into smart classrooms. Automation of libraries, electronic learning and online personal learning are certain priorities of the education reform. Guile (2009) stated that the reform also focuses on enhancing the communication skill of students.
According to Hollander (2013), when teachers will teach students other values of life apart from the bookish knowledge, students will be able to develop their personality and learn self-efficacy. However, in the European countries, like, UK, the government conducted a survey to identify the loopholes in their education system especially in The General Certificate of Secondary Education. Based on the survey that depicted the opinion of the stakeholders of the educational institution certain decisions were made. The government decided on establishing clear standards. Multiple measures are considered for analyzing the student’s performance. The government also pondered on innovation that will help to reach out to all students. The performances of the teachers and professors are also been measured and they are rewarded with both monetary and non-monetary rewards. Bridging school with a home in order to enhance students educational achievements.
The government of UK has contemplated on collaborating high salaries of the teachers with supportive leadership in order to retain good teachers delivering education under The General Certificate of Secondary Education. This will also provide zeal to the teachers to perform even better. Apart from this, the government has also emphasized on reforming the mode of teaching. Under the reformed policies, the teacher is required to teach students on modern information-based technology as it will add to the achievements of the students. Hence, all these together will directly contribute to the development of the societies in the nation. Therefore Lasswell Harold (2011) commented that education reform is more than necessary for uplifting not only the students but the whole nation.
According to Berelson, Bernard & Morris Janowitz (2010), public opinion represents the aggregate of the individual beliefs, bent of minds, views and ideas. Countries, like the UK where democracy is prevalent, public opinion is quintessential. Cantril & Hadley (2009) stated that the notion of democracy believes in working for the best interest of the general public. Therefore, their opinion is imperative in taking any decision regarding state affair. In a democratic country, the opinion of the public through polls or votes decides the future of the whole nation and represents its democratic values. Glynn & Carroll (2015) stated that the opinion of the public forms a crux of any legislative policies in a democratic country. Thus, the public is the actual source power of any democratic nation and public opinion is the foundation of any decision of the state.
In this context, Hennessy, Bernard (2011) explained that education reform is an important issue at the present juncture. Education is always one of the major priorities in any nation and thus reviewing the policies pertaining to it is important. Along with policy revision, new policies should be formulated and incorporated if necessary. Reformation is obvious in order to improvise in quality and standard.
Accordingly to Lippmann Walter (2014), public opinion on this issue is highly considerable. This is because the views of the general public are the key determinant of the required reforms. Price, Vincent (2009) stated that year after year same education policies are being followed this has made the education system stagnant in many countries. With the upgradation of the education system across the globe, all the nations should try to keep pace with new education system and thus education reform is needed. However, to devise new legislation and to formulate new policies the concerned authority have to take in consideration the opinion to the public. In this context, parents, teachers, students, educators, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders shall pass their opinion on the issues. This is because these people are the most important pillars of the education system of any country. According to Amanada (2014), the government can follow two ways of considering the opinion of the general public. The government can either consider the opinion of the stakeholders prior to the formulation of the policies.
Apart from this, it has been reported that in The General Certificate of Secondary Education of UK, the government displays the drafted policies on the websites of the education department and stakeholders can submit their opinions there. In whatever way, it may be the government has to keep in view the opinions of the stakeholders while reforming the education system. Bogart(2011) opined that Different countries have different approaches to prioritizing the state issues. It has been reported that due to the strong public opinion the government had to consider the issue of education reform as the topmost issues. Coombs (2015) stated that in case of Britain, public polls decide the urgency of an issue. Therefore, in this context the public poll indicated the importance of immediate education reform as it consisted of the 12% of the total poll on various issues of the state. This drove the government to contemplate on the issue of education reform immediately. Hence, Cortright, David & Amitabh Mattoo(2010) opined that the opinion of the public is significant in bringing the reformation of education system across the globe.
According to Mandella (2014), opinions are individual views and perception and thus differ from others. Thus, it is not mandatory that opinions always match and thus it paves way for the conflict of opinions. There has been mixed opinion on the education reform across countries. All the stakeholders differ in opinions and thus created differences in the public poll. The clash of opinion is not only among the stakeholders but also between the government and the stakeholders.
In education reformation of UK, it has observed that parents have expressed different opinions in The General Certificate of Secondary Education. It has been observed that parents are demanding a degree of options in education. They are more inclined to the education be backed by charter schools.
In certain cases, they have agreed with the government decision of education reforms. Like, the parents have supported the convention that students should not be promoted to the next class if he or she fails to meet the passing criteria. In this scenario, they shall not be given any degree or diploma, the parents agreed to this. However, the parents are not certain relating the salaries of the teacher and their performance to the test score of the students. They have expressed a different opinion in this context. Then again the parents have opined that the policies have stressed less on improving the quality of education rather it has emphasized on strategies to retain teachers. The parents argued that the educational institutions are overcrowded and lack discipline and thus students are lagging behind in terms of achievement.
Michelle (2009) argued that the teachers have expressed a different opinion on reforming the education policies. They have stressed more on the gradation system or testing scores. It has been observed that teachers are demanding an improvisation of the gradation system. This implies that students scores should be assessed on a monthly basis as it will help them to identify the areas which need more concentration. Assessment of scores annually or quarterly is less beneficial to the students in comparison with a monthly assessment of scores.
However, certain countries, like the UK has conducted a survey in order to gain an insight into the overall opinion of the parents whose children are studying under The General Certificate of Secondary Education. Price (2011) explained that the poll indicated variance of opinions. This is because about 41 percent of poll favored the government new education policies. Then again 69 percent of the poll opined their children's education to be excellent had given good marks to the teachers for helping their children to score good marks. However, 36 percent of the poll opined their children’s educational achievement to be low and teacher’s performance to be also not up to the mark. This shows that the government education policies are not completely inefficient neither it is highly efficient in meeting the demands of the general public. Anyhow this polls helps the government to contemplate on which issue to be addressed first. According to Shapiro (2011), opinions are always conflicting nature and more people obviously more opinions and conflicts. It is to be decided which opinion to be considered and utilized in reforming the education system.
According to Sheatsley (2016), public opinion is invaluable in reforming the education policies. It has been proved to be very advantageous to the government across the nation in identifying the areas of improvement and devising strategies accordingly. However, Sheehan, Kim (2009) argued that it has certain disadvantages also which are to be considered. UK Public opinion or polls have a certain advantage which is, a majority of opinion can be gained through polls. This helps the government to gain an understanding of the perceptions and views of the general public at a time and it is also cost-effective. Then the second advantage of public opinion provides good information which is almost accurate. This is because the surveys are conducted among the mass of people, and they are a source of good information. The third advantage is that facts help people to change their bent of mind. This implies that when surveys are conducted, different people get exposed to the opinion of others and these help them in identifying their thinking errors and change their perceptions.
The fourth advantage of public opinion is that it is affordable. The government does not need to incur many costs in conducting surveys. The compilation of all the collected data is also quite easy. However, Kapur, Devesh (2009) argued that this is contradictory as in certain countries there is no provision of public polls rather the government has to depend on elections which are not that cost effective but it is important.
Anyhow, with above-discussed advantages, there are certain disadvantages of public opinion. Toch, Hans (2010) explained the first disadvantage of public opinion is that the outcome of the polls can affect other in a negative way. The results of the public polls are released in real-time that can be harmful to others. As opinion differs it might happen that a portion of the population can be offended by the opinion of others. The second disadvantage of public opinion is that in certain cases the results are not accurate. Certain surveys consist of questions that have an only “Yes” or “No” options. Thus, information based on these survey is not that informative and accurate. The third disadvantage is that polls and opinion are confined to particular sample size. Winick (2014) stated that this implies that surveys or elections are conducted to a particular sample size and thus it cannot represent the whole population. Information based on these samples is limited and is less informative. The last disadvantage of the public opinion is that the results of the polls and election is tampered and manipulated.
According to Wood Richardson (2016), the government of any nation conduct these polls and elections to get genuine opinions of the mass, however, at certain cases, it has been noted that the results of the polls or elections are altered with false answers. This misguides the government and hence they are unable to take necessary decision to address the state issues. Therefore along with enjoying the benefits of public polls and opinions the state authority also has to face the disadvantages.
According to Worcester (2009), public opinions play an integral part in reforming the education policies of a nation. The general public is the foundation of any country and thus their views, ideas and perception are invaluable to a state authority. The UK authority is largely dependent on the opinion of its mass while revising and reforming its policies. Education is one of the most important aspects of the growth of the society it is important that the government pays special attention to it in improving the quality of its education system so that it helps the teacher to enhance their productivity and also helps students to improve their overall skills. As an impact of the public opinion, the government had to reform its education policies.
In order to improve the overall quality of the education system, the reforms were segregated. The first reform is curriculum reform, this entails the reformation of the existing curriculums of the education system. In comparison with the old curriculum, the new curriculum is more student-centered, it focuses on learnings that will benefit the student rather than irrelevant learnings. This reformation also focused on making the learning paths more flexible for the students. The skills and merits of the students are recognized and they are encouraged to move ahead. Now the second reform is governance reform, this focuses on the autonomy of universities, strategic partnerships. Partnership with enterprises helps in assuring the quality of the education. This reform aimed at improving the standard of education and thus delivering an excellent education to the students. The third and most important is that of funding reform, this reform aims at funding more on the education of a nation to incorporate modern teaching techniques in the existing education system. Along with this, the reform implies the linking of university income with its performance. Then again it aims at encouraging equity in the whole education system, no one should be deprived of education. All students could access the education and get efficient learning. This reforms also provide loan facilities to students for higher education.
Yankelovich (2015) opined that these education reforms has helped countries to improve their education system. It has been observed that following this reforms the nations has gained more efficiency in their education systems. The parents and students are happy and satisfied and the students are seen to be more skillful than before. This is because, in comparison with the old education system, the students are more indulged in the modern learning styles. They are more inquisitive in learning new things and all these have attributed to their enhanced skills. Along with the parents and students, the educators and teachers are also happy as they could enjoy the benefit of the reforms. Thus, due to public opinion, the government could identify its pitfalls in the education and resolve them accordingly.This proves that public opinion is indeed important in every nation.
From the above discussion, a conclusion can be drawn that public opinion holds an important part in decision making of a nation. It is the public whose views and perceptions are to be considered in identifying the important issues of a state. Depending upon their opinions, the state authorities have to set priorities of the issues and address them accordingly. This research has shed light on the importance of public opinion on education reform. This is quite an important concern at the present juncture. From the above discussion, it can be understood that reformation of the existing education system is consequential in order to enhance the quality of education of The General Certificate of Secondary Education.
From the research, it can be observed that education system was more into the completion of syllabus and irrelevant curriculum and students was recognized by their test scores. However, due to public opinion, the government reformed the education system. The reformed education policies focused more on gaining practical knowledge. It emphasized more on the interaction between students and teachers. The research has also highlighted that due to the reformation of education, the productivity of the teachers has also enhanced. They are more motivated in delivering better education to their students. The education reforms have paved the way for the transformation of old classrooms into digitalized classrooms.
However, along with these advantages, the research has also discussed certain disadvantages of public opinion or public polls. Public opinion can sometimes create nuisance in certain cases as opinions of others may affect a certain population. Opinions in most of the times pave the way for conflicts and create a dilemma for the government in decision making. Apart from this, the research has also discussed a major drawback of public poll or election is that the results tamper. This is indeed detrimental for a nation as based on these results incorrect decisions might be taken by the government.
Therefore, it can be concluded that public opinion has both its pros and cons which have to be considered by the state authority of every nation. The government has to conduct polls and elections in such a way that it does not create any outrage among the general public as a result of other’s opinion. Then again, the government has to be very minute while evaluating the information gathered from these polls. It is not necessary that all the polls will interpret the proper and correct information, hence, the government has to conduct in such a manner that they could gather relevant and proper data. UK Public polls are restricted to a particular sample size, therefore the government has to broaden its sample size so that they can gather the opinion of a larger population. This will help the government in the decision-making process as they will have information of mass thus they will able to take a decision that will help them to address the issues better. The reformed education policies of the government are quite effective however, the governments still have to monitor and revise those policies if necessary.
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