Thursday, 23 August 2007
04:51:56 PM (GMT)
Today was a hopefully a good day for all of my friends getting their GCSE results.
Everyone who's told me about their results has reported good news, with many A*s and
As down the line of their results. Better than mine, I had no A*s, but I did have six
As, and that was good enough for me.
One might think that life is a lot easier for me, having worked hard enough to get
those grades. One might suppose that my hard work has paid off, and that I'm now
taking is easy, perhaps sipping some fruity drink on a beach somewhere.
No. No no no no no. And this is why it is not a happy day for me. Because I am
watching some of my closest friends being overjoyed at the prospect of having their
exams over, and also very pleased about the fact that they... get to do it all again
over the next two years.
Now, I don't mean to put a downer on their celebrations. Oh, actually, no, maybe I
do. Regardless, it's great that they've learnt what they have, and that they've
gotten a lot of it over. However, it hurts to know that this success is just another
bit of inertia forcing them ahead into things that, secretly, are a waste of their
I know what you're thinking. Whoa... slow down there Steve, did you just say that
education is a waste of time? No, I didn't, education is great, I love learning
things. I'm a bit suspicious of people who do say education is a waste of time,
since... well... it's interesting, and I can't really relate to people who don't have
curiosity enough to learn.
However, the education system of the UK, I am less than happy about. Sure, it has
some real gems of teachers and some of the syllabi are actually really interesting
(there's little more amusing than listening to your sociology teacher talking about
the failures of the education system, for example) but a lot of it is just useless. I
mean, ask yourself this: instead of being told what you have to know, what is
important, what subjects you must take, would you rather decide for yourself what you
will learn? Wouldn't it be incredibly exciting to come across an area of interest to
you and be free to explore that as much as you like? In your own way?
The worst insult really though is that they test you on it at the end. This stuff
which, for the most part, you never wanted to spend your time learning about (at
least not in the way that you did), you are forced to endure having your brain poked
around with to make sure that you live up to their standards of knowledge. And what
do you think is the deciding factor in what matters? Well... think to yourself, what
will you use those letters you get at the end for? To get jobs of course! GCSEs are
not, as your teachers might like you to believe, about the beauty of understanding.
No, they are shaping you up for exploitation by, yes you guessed it, capitalism.
And it hurts to see people I care about exploited.
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