by Ian Campbell, Principal, Diyafah International School, Abu Dhabi
Diyafah International School (DIS) is always looking to meet the needs of its students. One new idea is something that the UK has had in place for many years; the BTEC. The BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) qualification offers an alternative route into university, apprenticeships or employment. This is a specialist, work-related qualification in subjects that include Business, Art & Design, Performing Arts and Sport. In DIS, we have trained staff to deliver Science and Business Studies BTEC and will in future expand our BTEC offerings.
One common misconception is that education must have a test at the end of a course in an examination hall. However, most university courses and professional training is through continuous assessment. Consequently, it is irresponsible, in my opinion, for schools not to investigate if there are alternatives that are similar to universities and the workplace.
There is invariably a small percentage of students who do not perform well in a formal examined curriculum. In this situation, a vocational path could be a more suitable alternative to completing secondary education. The BTEC courses are not an easier alternative and are technically rigorous, but they offer a pathway that can engage the student throughout the course using continuous assessment rather than cramming for the examination at the end of the year.
95% of UK universities accept BTEC’s for entry and are a well-established pathway into university. The practical skills and knowledge that the courses offer are a fantastic way to engage students looking for an alternative pathway to an A-Level. The BTECs offered at Diyafah International School are Level 3 qualifications. This means that they are a recognised alternative that might be worth investigating as a university or career pathway in addition to the A-levels.
Our advice in Diyafah is to select an educational route that is personalised to you. Please don’t select a pathway that will stop you from gaining a career or university of your choice. The BTEC is growing in popularity, with established premium schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi offering them. If the students in these schools are opting for the BTEC, perhaps you should investigate and ask your teachers in Diyafah International School if this is the Year 12 option for you?
To find out more, please check our website www.diyafahinternationalschool.com
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