Previously I have commented on how the “youth” of today are pretty much down trodden by adults and today there has been another screaming example of it.
Today is the day school children learn their “A” level results (final school exams) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The A level exam is the culmination of 13 years schooling and decides what (if any) university education the person can begin. The exams are taken in around 3 subjects and follow two years of dedicated study. In a nutshell, they are very important for the children who sit them.
Set against this, is the news headline “A level pass and A grades up” in which the BBC leads with:
There has been another increase in the A-level pass rate and the proportion of entries awarded the top A grade.
This has set the talking heads on various news outlets raging. There is, weirdly, outrage that a higher percentage of people who have sat A levels have passed this year than last year, and this pattern has (apparently) been the case for the last two decades. If you listened to some of the radio news programmes today you would think this was the end of the world, but for context we can go back to the BBC:
Figures from the Joint Council for Qualifications show 97.2% of entries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland passed, up from 96.9%.
Yes, the increase is actually only 0.3% – not exactly head line news… Interestingly, these figures are broken down as follows: (source BBC)
- UK: 97.2%
- Northern Ireland: 98.2%
- England: 97.2%
- Wales: 97.6%
(Call me old fashioned but that appears to be an average of 97.67% but obviously Wales and Northern Ireland dont count as much. 🙂 )
In a normal world, you would think that there was much to celebrate in this numbers – our children are studying harder, our teachers are working harder, our schools are better, access to things like the internet are improving education and so on.
Oh no. In this world all this means is our exams are “too easy.” The notoriously literate tabloid press is calling for an “overhaul” of the exam system because obviously it is not testing enough if after two solid years of study, backed up by a further 11 years of general education, nearly every one passes. Ironically, I have been on a seven day professional course which had an exam (and awarded a qualification deemed to be at a higher level than an A level) and it was assumed that after SEVEN days study EVERYONE would pass the exam. Does that make the qualification “worthless?”
For some reason we live in a world where no matter what children do it is never enough. If they play outdoors they are accused of being “hoodies,” if they play indoors they are anti-social fatties, if they fail at school they are unemployable retards and if they do well then, obviously, exams are too easy.
Is it any wonder they seem to be unwilling to get involved in our society? Shame on us all.
For any one reading this who got their results today and passed – well done, the exams are hard and you have done well to pass.
(and my heart goes out doubly to the poor teachers – they work harder now than when I was at school yet any sign they are producing better standards of education and obviously it just means the exams are too easy…”)