Is Gove too busy looking into the past to consider the future?

So Gove steps up the pace…

In Gove’s most recent double U-turn on GCSEs (English Baccalaureate, I levels, and any other name that he has considered but gone back on) he has definitively reverted to the old school. You know, where only a minority achieved because the examination process was marked just on one hit wonder final exam performers who had one type of mind and a special type of parent, and possibly some good old fashioned wonga to get them to the top regardless of how well they did at school anyway.

The basics:

No more course work (I mean, who would want to give those who struggle with exams a chance?)

Modules made extinct (one exam, one shot)

Back to the old school (Shakespeare is back, learning about Britain is key)

The difference between an A* and an A? (No problem, grades are now marked on a basis of 1-8 – isn’t this just a disguise for letters?)

Bring back languages (ok, he is going gentle on this, but it will happen)

Competing exam boards (let’s make sure that we keep the exam boards competing for the biggest amount of passes, by making the boundaries lower each year)

So every government thinks that they are the right government to make a change. Gove’s overhaul of the education system is said to be the biggest of 30 years, and within that time, no government has been content with the previous party’s attempts at rectifying the education system. Evidence for this is clear, every party looks for another’s failures, but how long have each party’s policies been in practice before they are slam dunked and chucked? Is the education system failing, or are teachers not being given a chance to implement each change effectively because they are constantly being to-ed and fro-ed by, oh hang on, the current minister of education whose background is in journalism? JOURNALISM? Could you imagine the CEO of BP not having any oil and gas background? Or the head of Marks and Spencer never having worked in retail? It’s clear that Gove believes that his upbringing and education did him very well at making him a narrow minded conservative and, with this being his only educational background, is determined to pin it on the rest of the UK.

Whilst there are some benefits to his policies, I fail to see how the new implementation will create a generation capable of competing with the global competition that is becoming ever apparent. It is important to understand the history of our country, but should there not also be an emphasis on looking forward? Computer programming? Shouldn’t this be as important as learning to read and write? How can we engineer new products and keep up with the space age if we are learning how to sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the.… I’m not denying the necessity of Shakespeare, literature and the history of the creation of our country in the curriculum, but I don’t see how the past and the present are being pulled together in education to allow the next generation to build towards a better future.

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