Geography Higher is cause for high concerns

Student's stress over Geography Higher Exam
Student's stress over Geography Higher Exam
Student’s stress over Geography Higher Exam

The association of Scottish geography teachers have expressed serious concerns about this year’s Geography Higher exam.

The association has submitted a letter to MSP’s claiming this year’s exam was set at an inappropriately high level.

Teachers fear the exam will make pupils choose other subjects instead of geography.

One major concern among teachers was that there was a disproportionate emphasis on human geography, which examines how human activity affects or is influenced by the earth’s surface, rather than physical geography, such as the formation of valleys and mountains.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), who accredits the Scottish educational system, has stated this year’s exam was set at the right level, reports BBC Scotland.

A spokesperson from SQA told BBC Scotland; “The 2016 Higher Geography exam was set at the appropriate standard and provided a good opportunity for candidates studying at Higher level to demonstrate their skills and understanding of the subject”.

The spokesperson further said, ”It was designed according to our published course assessment specifications and was in line with published specimen question papers”.

A former chemistry teacher told BBC Scotland he is concerned about the SQA’s objectivity.

He said; “My over-arching concern about the SQA is that it is accountable to nobody. It refuses to respond to legitimate concerns raised by teachers. It seems more concerned with revenue generation than with serving the needs of candidates”.

The SQA will be questioned about its budget by MSPs from the education committee at Holyrood this Wednesday, but questions on legitimate issues can come up as well.