With great applause I post an article regarding the usage of IGCSEs in schools;
I hope (finally) teachers and the higher authorities are noting how poor the standard of some GCSEs are and the need for a more academic and pressing qualification like that of the IGCSE.
Ironically the GCSEs were only introduced as the Government believed children were failing the O levels because they were 'too hard'. Now these qualifications have been made bereft of any real prestige they are realising the great effect this has had on our society as a whole. Children are presenting themselves at University unable to spell simple words as 'mischief' or know the difference between 'their' and 'there'. Calculus was removed completely from the GCSE Maths syllabus because it was deemed as 'too demanding'. It appears at A level and the discrepancy between the GCSE and first year A level is so extensive many students cannot keep up. (More on Mathematics in a future post.)
IGCSEs are much more alike to the old O levels (these are still available anyway for our home educated children at the CIE board) and present a more in depth level of knowledge. Children can if they so choose, take longer to study them, are quite detailed and reasonably intellectual.
One of the main obstacles with the IGCSEs currently for the home educated child are they are not recognised as more advanced than the GCSE. Once they are more widely used and teachers become aware of the differences, schools and colleges will hopefully regard them as the more noteworthy.
For example- my son Ben has a conditional place at a Grammar school for sixth form. In this particular school the student needs a certain amount of points in order to gain their place to study A levels.
They have their own personal point system, with, for example, an A* being worth 58 points and so on (or so down!).
They make no reference to the ample difference in standard of the GCSE and the IGCSEs. This places Ben at a great disadvantage as not only has he not been 'spoon fed' all the relevant work, he has taken a harder set of exams.
The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has been making noises about changing the GCSEs in the UK in a hope to return to a more valued O level type of examination.
What do you think of this?
Do you suppose this to be a sensible idea?