There is “no wrong path” post-exams for education and learning, says SNP MSP

No wrong path is a phrase that pops up this time of year as pupils, and their families, are up to high doe with the impending exam season, says SNP MSP Clare Adamson. NOTE: The views expressed here are not necessarily endorsed by Glasgow World.

I have been through it myself with my own family.  I know the anxiety can feel all consuming.  I want to give my best to each and every one of our students during their exam season. It’s a stressful time all round!

While this is a milestone moment, I want to say to everyone – including Mums, Dads and Carers – these exams do not define your future and there are many routes into careers and fulfilling your ambitions.

For some of you, this will not be a traditional linear educational journey. Though Scotland boasts some of the finest Universities in world:  excelling in STEM; research; life sciences; and the Arts – the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland again regarded in the world’s top ten. 

Scottish Government action has ensured that access to further and higher education remains free of tuition fees for Scottish domiciled students. It is an ambition to embed this principle in an independent Scotland’s national constitution.

Meanwhile, the higher education sector is progressing to the 2030 target that 20 per cent of Scottish students entering university will be from the country’s most deprived areas.  The interim target of 16% has already been met and we’ve seen record highs in the last few years.

Many students now choose a route through our Further Education Colleges from SQA qualifications HNC, HND and onto Degree.  New College Lanarkshire, including its fabulous Motherwell Campus, has just launched degrees in Dental Nursing, Cyber security, Collaborative Health and Social Care.

Expanding vocational courses and Foundation, Modern and Degree Apprenticeships has been key to reducing youth unemployment. 

With apprenticeships, you can learn on the job and build practical experience while getting paid.

Further Education may be a better fit for some following school.  This is to emphasise the point of ‘no wrong path’.

In my own Motherwell and Wishaw constituency, institutions like New College Lanarkshire are constantly expanding their offering with new courses.

Their centre of excellence in manufacturing innovation and robotics – the Smart Hub – is a prime example of developing skills for the future.

Working with local SMEs, the Hub is raising new appetites for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. 

We are in the thrust of the fourth industrial revolution; Scotland is leading on game-changing research in Robotics, AI, quantum computing and semiconductors, renewables, life sciences, Hydrogen – you name it.

Scotland’s Screen and Games sectors are booming - opening new and exciting career opportunities.

With a concerted skills push – and an attitude shift away from the ‘linear path’ – we can encourage the next generation of learners and perhaps rejuvenate the passions of those who thought that learning was behind them. 

Education is a right.  Learning is a privilege and a lifelong opportunity.  While I wish you all the best in the upcoming exams and your next steps in life, know that you will not be defined by the course of a few weeks.  Some of us learn this wisdom much later in life.

In that light, remember that there is ‘No Wrong Path’; embrace your own path to achieving your dreams and realising your potential.

To find put more about Clare Adamason’s work click here. If you need to speak to her on this or any other issue, you can contact her on [email protected] or call her office Monday to Friday on 01698 337540.