UK Education, too easy?

2 years ago, I had a post showing the difference in what was expected from UK university students, and Chinese University pre-entry candidates (See here).

In today's news, this topic has come up again, with the exams regulator demanding immediate action, after finding out that GCSE science standards have fallen. Top private schools have already started to dump the normal GCSE in favour of the International GCSE exams, I did the IGCSEs back in 1994, and they compared favourably with the Nigerian O'Level exams.

So how easy is the Science GCSE? Well here are some of the multiple choice questions, I leave you to judge for yourselves:

GCSE Science (Edexcel, 2006)

Our moon seems to disappear during an eclipse. Some people say this is because an old lady covers the moon with her cloak. She does this so that thieves cannot steal the shiny coins on the surface. Which of these would help scientists to prove or disprove this idea?

A) Collect evidence from people who believe the lady sees the thieves

B) Shout to the lady that the thieves are coming

C) Send a probe to the moon to search for coins

D) Look for fingerprints

GCSE Science (Edexcel, 2006)

Many people observe the stars using

A) A telescope B) A microscope C) An X-Ray tube D) A synthesiser

GCSE Biology (AQA 2008)

When we sweat water leaves the body through…

A) Kidneys B) Liver C) Lungs D) Skin

Higher paper in science GCSE, Edexcel

At the astronomical club Alec and Louise discuss the possibility of intelligent life existing on other planets.

Which of the following statements supports the possibility of existence of intelligent life in our galaxy?

A) The galaxy is expanding very quickly

B) The earth is over four billion years old

C) The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence has spent millions of hours analysing signals from space

D) There are so many stars in the galaxy


Britain's first black CEO

We’re taking over, one company at a time…..

This man left Ivory Coast as a refuge 10 years ago, and he is now a CEO at 46 !!

(Although he was a government minister at the time, which is impressive, government minister at 36!)

The sad part of the interview:

“……..in a previous interview with the Guardian Thiam revealed he had refused to attend any more job interviews unless headhunters told potential employers that he was black before they met him: "I was tired of the usual answer, which was, 'We like you, you are a great guy but this is a division with 10,000 employees and we just don't think they would understand having someone like you at the helm.'"

It's sad that there are still people who think like this. I had a 'similar' incident a couple of weeks ago, someone called me and left a voicemail saying he was exicited by my CV, and that he thought I was a very good match for a job role he had going. I looked at the role, and it was spot on, very good role for me. I called him back, and left a voicemail. This was 5 minutes after he called me. He calls 5 minutes later to say, or sorry, technically, you just haven't got it. I was bemused. What could have changed in 5 minutes? Then it hit me. My voicemail. He heard my accent.