(Original post by AdamskiUK)
So recently, The Times uncovered that Michael Gove (the minister of education for the current UK government) intends to scrap the standard GCSE course. There has been outcry by the Left and the supporting unions of the Labour party, who are saying that a return to O-Level qualifications means a return to having a CSE qualification. Before the Tories introduced GCSEs, CSEs existed as a form of lesser O-Level. For instance, if you got a Level 1 (Distinction) grade in your CSE, you had the equivalent of a C in the same subject at O-Level.
Generally, CSEs were very poorly regarded in terms of employment. However, they were the qualifications the masses could attain, so they were needed nonetheless. In my opinion, the Unions who strongly protest against a two-tier system have *clearly* forgotten about the difference between Higher and Foundation papers. In GCSE currently, getting the highest mark in a Foundation paper will give you a C at GCSE. Is this not the same as what we could make the CSE anyway?
Indeed, it would mean an increase of difficultly of both the 'Foundation' (CSE-New) and 'Higher' (O-Level - New), but with the UK falling behind in World education tables, is this not a positive step? The example used in the Media is Singapore. Their students can currently sit an O-Level exam at aged 16 (or younger) that is designed by Cambridge. The course material that is covered reaches well into our A-Level courses for Sciences and Maths which puts the UK in poor stead when trying to compete on the global market.
I suppose you could say that I'm only saying this because I've sat my GCSEs and that this won't have an effect on me. I find this to be a poor argument as if GCSEs change, then A-Levels will, too. I'm about to enter my first year of 6th Form, so again, if these changes take place when they're meant to (2013/2014), my curriculum will be left unchanged. However, I find that improving the British workforce's knowledge to be a *good idea*. Making them learn what our parents could do 30 years ago is a *good idea*. There is the problem that this route will reduce those who work in vocational courses. I am against this, as not everyone should go to University. We still need labourers and manufacturers to create wealth in our society. This must be accounted for in Gove's changes.
What concerns me most is the fact that I am indeed a candidate who will not have been through these new qualifications. What does it mean for me?
For starters, will my GCSEs pale in comparison to those who have done the harder exams? Will they become more employable? The same goes for when A-Levels inevitably become harder. Are their grade As or Bs going to be worth more than mine? If that's the case, then a whole restructuring will take place, and people like me who have worked hard at what we've been set will be displaced in the employment system. This must, again, be accounted for. I think that this will be minimised because the changes will happen at A-Level very gradually. Hopefully, even with the very gradual shift, the government can produce a scheme of work that I can complete to bring my knowledge up to the standards they expect.
These are just my thoughts, and I hope you forgive me for putting them in a new post, but I'd rather hear your thoughts than lose all of ours in a drowning sea of arguments in the other threads. To make things clear, I support Gove, but he must be careful. What I want to ask you here is what do you think about how the value of our grades will be affected. I also want to know if you support Gove or not, and why/why not?