Wednesday, 31 August 2005

GCSE in Plum Sauce

If someone had speculated thirty years ago that thirty years thence a qualification might be gained by answering such questions as how one might order a take-away, one might have reasonably assumed, in the absence of specific evidence to the contrary, that he was forecasting some educational scheme for the mentally retarded.
.....We latter-day souls, however, know better than to assume the best, and we would be right to assume the worst; for such a qualification is now offered to high-school pupils taking the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), the highest qualification that a British high-school pupil might normally attain.
.....According to a report in The Sunday Telegraph (28th August 2005), the GCSE in Leisure and Tourism sets such tasks as “Describe what customers need to do to receive a delivery service from an Indian take-away restaurant”, and “Other than Indian food, name one other type of food often provided by take-away restaurants”. (Regarding the latter task, I feel it is only fair that the writer of the examination paper ought to be set with a task such as “Other than the one here, give another example of a tautology”.)
.....If I were to speculate about the future of education, then I would say that thirty years hence we might see a GSCE in Bolstering One's Self-Esteem, an A-Level in One's Petty Personal Opinions, and a PhD in Feeling Good about One’s Self through Bogus Scholarship. But this would be easy speculation; for these are already present in all but name.

4 comments:

dearieme said...

"what customers need to do to receive a delivery service from an Indian take-away restaurant”. Please, Sir, please, Sir:-
1) "Do not order from an American-owned restaurant, because they use the expression "to go", not "take- away".
2) Nor from a Scots one, who will use "carry out".
Or
3) Be patient; it's a long way to India.
Or
4) Why say "a delivery service" rather than "a delivery"?
Or
5) How could any child worth tuppence respect this shower of intellectual shite?

Deogolwulf said...

Well said.

dearieme said...

Grrrrrr! When my daughter did GCSE physics, she showed me what they learned on Ohms Law. You and I might remember it as one law relating Resistance, Current and Potential Difference. She had to learn it as three different laws: one was Current =..., the second was Resistance =... and the third was Potential Difference =....
And three different laws being hard to remember, she then had to memorise a bloody mnemonic for them. How could any bright child fail to despise this stuff?

Blimpish said...

Deogolwulf: point is more than well made.

Dearieme: point, as ever, well extended.