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Anorak | Equal Opportunities

Equal Opportunities

by | 23rd, August 2002

‘IT might not always seem like it, but this page is usually written by a nine-year old girl called Kelly.

Supposed genius, but not a single GCSE to his name

However, such are the rising standards in education that we can afford to be picky and Kelly has been sacked without notice and is to be replaced by Geetha Thaninathan, a six-year old girl who has just become the youngest person to pass a GCSE.

Geetha, like us, recognises the importance of a formal education and certificates, and her O Level in information technology gives her the edge over her rivals. The Mail says that Geetha finds it all ”very easy”, although her C grade does allow room for improvement.

One day, if she works really hard, she could be like 15-year-old Frances Astley-Jones who scored an impressive 15 A* grades in her GCSE exams. And to really rub Geetha’s nose in it, Frances also scored an A grade at AS level in pure maths.

In the Mail, beaming Frances describes herself as ”gobsmacked”, and attributes her success to hard work and a balanced life. Indeed, spending equal time on all her subjects is important, although it does leave little or no time for play.

But all play and no work makes Frances a failure, or, to put it another way, a boy. Once more boys have fared worse than girls in the exam room, and the Sun wants to know why. So it asks Jason James (3 GCSEs) to tell us.

Taking the paper’s spot usually reserved for white van men and London cabbies, Jason (overqualified for a career as either) says boys fail at school because they don’t talk enough. While girls have ”deep and meaningful conversations with each other”, boys lark around, play the fool and take education less seriously.

But five years after leaving school, Jason has seen the folly of his ways and in a Damascene moment has elicited the help of the Prince’s Trust to see him back to college.

Jason’s now studying Government and Politics, Economics and World Development at school, subjects that will make him overqualified to work in government, or indeed for this website.



Posted: 23rd, August 2002 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink