Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, has announced that GCSEs will be scrapped and replaced with O-Levels, in order to “raise standards”, add rigour to the examination system, and to help give pupils better preparation for A Levels and university.
The government wants to give the examination and education system a massive overhaul to help increase academic progress. Michael Gove stated in the House of Commons recently that “schools must challenge schoolchildren to do better”. However many students disagree with the proposals.
Students were asked “Are you glad to hear O-Levels are coming back?”
In a poll of 725 TSR users:
- 56.3% of students have already sat their GCSEs and disagree with the return of O-Levels.
- 40.3% of students have already sat their GCSEs and agree with the return of O-Levels.
- 2.5% of students have not sat their GCSEs and disagree with the return of O-Levels.
- 0.8% of students have not sat their GCSEs and agree with the return of O-Levels.
The results indicate that the majority of students are against the scrapping of GCSEs and the return of O-Levels, however there are some mixed views:
“I don’t see how separating people and not allowing the pupils who are deemed ‘less able’ to even try to get the same standard qualifications as the people who passed some arbitrary test is anything other than backward, unfair and completely going against social mobility.”
“The fact that the Tories had brought in the GCSE’s in the beginning and now they are scrapping them and bringing the old system back, means we are back to square one. Students that take CSE’s are going to be at a major disadvantage to students doing the O-levels. At least with the GCSE’s everyone had the same qualification.”
“It seems to me that everyone is a winner out of this idea. Stronger pupils will take a more academically challenging course, which will better evaluate their ability and push them farther than the current GCSEs do. This will filter down into improvements in A-levels and degree level.”
The return of O-Levels may be a radical shake up in education and examinations, in order to challenge pupils academically and to raise standards, but with many students – and even teachers – opposing the changes due to a fear of the return of the educational divide, the proposals remain unpopular.