A few years ago, the education secretary (at the time) Michael Gove said that the old GCSEs were just too easy (to be fair, I have never seen an old GCSE paper, so I can’t really say whether that’s true.) And so he changed everything, including the grading system.
Now, like most of Michael Gove’s decisions, this one was very unpopular, especially with students (like me.) And the opposition is only getting higher, with nearly all teachers and students disliking the changes.
This year, the current Year 11s took the first new GCSEs – and there have been reports of students having panic attacks, running out of exam rooms crying. It’s also had a huge impact on already crippling teenage mental health, and quite a few people have even committed suicide. (SOURCE)
And we haven’t even got to results day yet. But why did he do this?
Why did Michael Gove change the GCSEs?
One of the reasons Gove says he did this was to get us higher on the global education league table. The country on the top of that list, which is South Korea, has one of the highest teenage suicide rates in the world. (SOURCE)
He also did it because he thought that the old GCSEs were too easy and that we were all turning into a bunch of Baldricks (a not very intelligent character from the comedy Blackadder, a comedy which I highly recommend watching.)
These brand-new GCSEs are so hard that private schools, who have a choice about what curriculum they teach, keep on teaching the old GCSE syllabus. Why? Because they don’t want to risk students livelihoods in some untested exams. And good for them, too. (I mean, nobody wants to be a guinea pig, do they?)
And it’s not just the exams itself that are hard. Some of the content in the new GCSEs used to be in A-Levels. He also removed all the coursework (when the work you do in class counts towards your final grade) elements from most subjects, meaning that the exams you sit make up 100% of your final grade. And while he was at it, Michael Gove decided to change all the A-Levels too. Because he really wants to make his mark. (Pun intended.)
Changing perfectly fine GCSEs and A-Levels for no reason. A bit stupid if you ask me. | SOURCE: The Plastic Hippo
In conclusion, Michael Gove made another stupid decision and scrapped a tonne of young lives in the process. And a few months later, he resigned as the Minister of Education. (Like all people who make bad decisions.)
Sadly, there’s nothing we can do about this apart from wait and hope for the best. So now I’m going to leave you with a quote from one of my favourite comedy shows, Tracey Breaks The News:
I think the fact that I took a difficult and unpopular decision proves that I am a man of principle.
He said this after pushing an old woman into traffic and saying that he was 100% committed to getting the old lady across the road, but realised he couldn’t so pushed her into the traffic.