Part I: Reading (14pts)
Read the text carefully then do the activities.
A/ Comprehension (7pts)
Schools and universities existed in Britain long before the government began to take interest in education. There were ‘public’ schools where the sons of upper and upper-middle classes were educated to take up positions in the higher ranks of the army, in business and politics. In fact, those were private schools for the privileged. Only very rich families could afford to pay for the studies, because the fees were very high .They were free from state control and most of them were boarding. It goes without saying that education there was of a high quality; the discipline was very strict. When the pupils from these schools finished their education, they formed the ruling elite, retaining the distinctive habits and vocabulary which they had learnt at school.
Some of the many changes that have taken place in British education in the second half of the twentieth century simply reflect the wider social process of increased egalitarianism; education and its possibilities for social advancement came within everybody’s reach.
Before 1965, most children in the country had to take an exam at about the age of eleven, at the end of their primary schooling. If they passed that exam, they went to a grammar school where they were taught academic subjects to prepare them for university, the professions, management jobs and other highly skilled jobs. If they failed, they went to modern school. Many people argue that it was wrong for a person’s life to be decided at so young an age. The children who went to ‘secondary moderns’ tended to be seen as ‘failures’.
Over the next decade, the division into grammar schools and secondary modern schools was changed. These days, most eleven-year olds all go to the same local school. These schools are known as co-educational comprehensive schools. In such schools, children of school age (5-16) study three core subjects within their curriculum: English, Maths and Science and seven foundational ones: Technology, History, Geography, Music, Art, Physical Education and a Foreign Language.
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