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One 16 year old gets it

School Gate - Times Online - Can we please have less politics in our GCSE's: a plea from a 16 year old.....
As a current GCSE student, I can identify with this “politicisation”. It seems to me as if the GCSE curricula, above all for science, no longer focus on understanding the subject. The core biology science curriculum now calls for very little knowledge of the biology that we had studied in the years preceding GCSE, but seems to be a governmental attempt to raise awareness of current social issues. For example, section A of the core biology exam concentrates on contraception, drugs, alcohol, smoking, obesity, anorexia and the MMR vaccines, whilst section B tackles broader issues such as global warming, GM crops, creationism vs Darwinism and alternative energy sources...
However, one of the key problems with sitting exams about topics of this nature is that the exam board are required to write mark schemes clearly detailing the answers that they want within a rigid framework. This leaves no room for debate on the part of the student, meaning that instead of producing insightful, perceptive and interesting answers, pupils tend towards putting down what they think the mark scheme is most likely to have as an acceptable response. For example, in a question about embryo screening, the advantage of screening embryos in accordance to the mark scheme was to reduce health care costs for the parents. I found it a little disconcerting, if not positively concerning, to discover that my answer that it would improve the quality of life for the child, did not feature....Arguably, the government is now more concerned with indoctrination than discussion.


You should take a look at Sam Tarran's blog. He's 17 now, but he's been blogging since 2006.


Are you expecting anyone to be surprised? The travesty that passes for the UK education system is going to cost this country a fortune in the future. GCSE and A Level exams have been dumbed down to a level where even the most illiterate can now achieve Grade C - failure is a dirty word. No wonder employers would rather use immigrant labour rather than employ UK school leavers.

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