If it wasn’t for MidKent College I wouldn’t be where I am today, which is MidKent College.
There is much discussion on Closing the Gap in educational achievement, officially known as Narrowing the Gaps, previously Narrowing the Gap. Which whilst a recognition that there is one then one Gap, is still less definitive then closing it.
One of the gaps is that of students from low socio-economic groups and the concern is about the number of students from this background that make it as far as University. There is much talk of first Generation of students to attend University and how the increase in University fees are seen as a barrier to University progression.
There is also concern regarding the quality of Primary school education, with Medway in particular drawing attention for it’s less then positive results ‘This year’s Medway results showed fewer children reached the standards expected in English and Maths compared to the year before.’
However not enough discussion is given to the role of FE, and the fact that for many students they are the First Generation to stay on at College or Sixth Form, let alone go to University.
MidKent College has a great potential and opportunity to draw a line in the sand for the students that attend. Many of which are disenfranchised by the current educational system and its hierarchical view of subjects. Many students found themselves leaving school having for many years been told that they were ‘an issue’ a problem in class’ or ‘a nightmare’ others, whilst not a difficult student, were not perceived to be the brightest either and so were ignored. Their parents, many of whom also found themselves in similar situations at school, have experienced years of dreading the upcoming parents evening.
MKC is an opportunity to draw a line in the sand to get Students to want to be educated. They opt in to come here, sure there are incentives and pressures, but whereas with school there is a natural assumed progression, they opt in to come here. I will never forget the second chance the college gave me, having failed my A-Levels miserably, and I still remember as a ‘young adult’ being lured away by a part time job, and the financial benefits of something called ‘Over-time’ which could on occasion clash with ‘Class-time’. If my lecturers hadn’t encouraged me, supported me and at a crucial time sat me down and made me realise I wasn’t achieving my potential, then I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today.
Which is writing this, at MidKent College.