I’m not the best person to give my opinion when it comes to GCSE English and maths because I went to high school in Spain and the education system there was quite different. In Spain GCSE’s don’t exist, our equivalent to high school was going to ESO. Where you did subjects that didn’t really have a name like GCSE’s have. They were just subjects at ESO level.
Throughout education in Spain it is compulsory to get at least a D grade in every subject that you are taking at the time. If you fail to pass all of your subjects, you have to repeat the year, repeating every exam for every subject. Even if you only failed one subject and no matter whether it’s primary or secondary school. It can even be the case that you end up repeating a year a few times before finishing your education. However, they only require you to leave secondary education with English and maths which for me would have been so much more comfortable and less stressful as a student.
I actually repeated my second year of primary school because I went to a Catalan school and I struggled a bit when it came to reading and writing in Catalan. However, I can now say that it actually helped me a lot as I am now fluent in Catalan.
For me, passing maths and English was quite achievable. I didn’t struggle and got relatively good grades. I would say that now my English and maths skills are on a good level, but I do understand that it’s not the same for everyone, and some people do struggle.
Having these two subjects should be fundamental because they are the ones that closely relate to everyday life. I find it fair that you are required to have these subjects when it comes to getting a job or ascending in education. In my opinion, English students really take for granted their education system and how achievable it is. Even the fact that you get to resit the exam as many times as you need, makes me agree even more with it being essential to pass these subjects.
Something that relates to this subject is the BKSB test that we are obliged to take at the beginning of the college year. I feel that taking this test is a good way for people to actually realise which level they are at. Sometimes they are amazed with how much they actually know, and sometimes they find out that they don’t know as much as they think. It is also a good way for teachers to know what level most of their class will be at, so they can plan ahead of how they are going to ensure secure learning.
In conclusion, my question is this: Can you really say you’ve had an education if you can’t pass English and Maths?