Something that’s really angered over the last week with the announcement of this year’s GCSE and A Level reforms, is how the media’s has gone wax lyrical over Michael Gove’s education reforms. Why? Because A Levels were down for the first time since Roman times and because GCSE Maths outperformed GCSE English for the 1st time since Ancient Egypt. First of all before I get to the crux of my argument, the reason why GCSE Maths is up when everything else seems to be down is simple, it’s the one thing Gove left alone. Right, now then the reforms, there’s a myth that’s existed in this country probably since the founding of GCSEs in the 80s that if results go up, then the exams have been dumbed down. This is complete bullshit of course but it’s been the media line for the last few years, influencing employers to devalue high academic attainment, which again has been a mistake. Enter stage left Mr Gove who decided to go on a one man crusade to fix our failing education system because there’s no way students can be smarter nowadays than his generation. WHY NOT????????? This generation smokes, drinks and takes less drugs than any previous generation and frankly this current generation of leaders I believe are intellectually lacking compared to previous generations (imagine Gove and Cameron against Thatcher and Benn in a debate), so their education couldn’t of been that great. Yet Gove insisted on rewinding the clock back to the education system that had produced their generation without yet seeing what fruits the education system I went through bears. Now someone from a working class background like myself may be tempted to believe that Tory cabinet full of privately educated millionaires might be trying to deliberately reduce the number of lower income students at university with these reforms, the 9k fees and the constant promotion of apprenticeships. However I’ll try to stay objective and avoid that conspiracy theory for now. Looking at Gove’s reforms more closely, the major change he’s made to both GCSEs and A Levels is he’s abolished modular exams in favour of end of 2yr exams across the board, the media see this as toughening the exams WRONG, it simply reduces the quality of education our children (and future leaders let’s not forget) are getting, why because modular exams require you to have very specialised knowledge to pass and doing 4 exams over 2 years gives you all around knowledge of the subject, and education is about gaining knowledge first and foremost, whereas 1 end of 2 year exam (and I know from experience) students will generally do absolutely nothing for 1 and a half years, and then a few weeks from the exam they’ll cram and the ones with the best memories will get the best grades, no knowledge has been gained how is that a better education, the answer is it’s not that’s why modules were brought in, in the first place. In addition one general exam with no coursework whatsoever will mean students will receive a massive culture shock when they get to uni where coursework and modular exams are the norm, again aren’t A Levels meant to prepare for uni. So in conclusion there was nothing wrong with coursework, nothing wrong with modular exams, there wasn’t even that much wrong with resits, the system maybe needed a slight revamp maybe a shift in the balance of coursework to exams and more external moderation of coursework but reverting to the 1970s education system that failed is a huge mistake and frankly I favour my pre-Gove generation’s chances in the employment market over those poor unfortunate souls only a few years younger than myself.

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