Help change the GCSE system in the UK as there is no creativity or uniqueness

Help change the GCSE system in the UK as there is no creativity or uniqueness

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Oliver Scarfe started this petition to The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP and

I am Oliver Scarfe, a year 10 pupil living in Caerphilly, South Wales. I am currently studying for my GCSEs, but I have an issue with what is taught and how levels of intelligence are charted. Albert Einstein once said "Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid". Take English literature as an example; the 'Of Mice And Men' and unseen poetry exam, the 'Of Mice And Men' essay is purely a memory game!! If anyone could explain to me how writing an essay without being aware the of the question or having any access to notes is applicable to everyday life. Or as another example, take maths. In the summer I will be sitting a higher tier maths paper and currently, all that seems to matter is triangles. Surely an applied mathematics course would be more beneficial to all pupils as this will help in the future, as oppose to useless information about triangles. Another issue I have is the Baccalaureate course; I have been in two secondary schools as I had moved from my previous one, and I don't think anyone, pupil nor teacher, could explain to me how this subject is useful. This time slot could be used for so many more things, basic first aid could be taught, but is obviously not deemed important enough, how to recognise symptoms of a stroke for example, but yet, self diagnosis isn't important enough. I understand that learning a variety of subjects is beneficial in that you become a broad learner, able to adapt to other situations, but surely a curriculum more based around the "real world", as oppose to a world where everyone either:

  • Adores triangles
  • Wants to work within science
  • Wants to become a teacher in any of the subjects they have studied

I believe that subjects such as business should be mandatory as they will greatly benefit everyone. I don't believe in an education with subjects and GCSEs; I believe in an education system where life skills take dominance over education. There are girls up and down this country who are 16 and ready to give birth, but yet still haven't had any education on how to raise a child. I've seen many counter points to this argument such as "well the parents of the child should take some responsibility and teach their child". I say that if the parent doesn't know how to parent well, how should we solve this issue? By teaching the current generation how to parent well so that they can instil their knowledge and life skills into their children, creating a more practical generation for the future. Potentially I could finish education in 18-20 months time and here are some examples of what I still haven't been taught:

  • About how money works,
  • The stock market,
  • How to purchase a property and mortgages,
  • The pros and cons of taking a loan,
  • How to get a job,
  • How to pay tax and the functions of tax,
  • What political parties stand for or even how to vote,
  • Current events,
  • The laws of the UK,
  • My human rights,
  • I haven't been taught how to budget and disperse my earnings,
  • How courts and the punishment works,
  • Basic first aid,
  • How to recognise mental disorders and their effects,
  • I haven't been taught about mental health even though suicide is one of the largest killers currently in the UK,
  • How to recognise diseases with preventable causes, 
  • Modern day medicine,
  • How to raise a child,

By removing Baccalaureate and teaching basic first aid and how to recognise illness, it would literally save thousands upon thousands of lives. Majority of young people who vote typically don't know what they're voting for, so I believe that should be a mandatory thing to learn. If I leave school with all my subjects being A-A*, what does that actually mean, I get qualifications that mean I'm smart, which allow me to study A levels, and say I leave with AAA, that means I'm smart, and if I'm lucky enough to go to university, I can finish a course which I'm extra smart. Just because I have a piece of paper which says I'm intelligent, it doesn't make me any more prepared for life than someone who left school with few GCSEs, but worked in order to be where they are now. 

Personal talents and interests are never acted upon in schools, I once read an analogy for this, if a doctor gave every patient the same medicine, majority of his patients would get sick, so why should we educate every child in the same way. By educating every child in the same way, there is no chance to let individuality shine.

Imagine an education system much less focussed on tests and results, but life skills and individuality. Where majority of lessons would consist of life skills and the rest of lessons would allow a child to test multiple lessons at the beginning of a year, and eventually settle on something that they're passionate about. Say for example a lesson like poetry didn't exist, then if enough pupils formed together, and under the supervision of a teacher, who would have funds from the school as well as outside training, they could form their own lesson. The education system is currently too focussed on competition as oppose to collaboration.

There needs to be change, and I would like to spearhead this change, please share with as many people as you can, not just friends, family, if you're in school, teachers, fellow pupils, let's make change happen.

A signature would be greatly appreciated, thank you!   

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