All post-primary schools in Tyrone were united today in their support for the new GSCE English Literature exam which will see traditional texts such as Shakespeare, O’Casey, Hemmingway and WB Yeats replaced with the writings of Ronan McSherry, Alan Rodgers, Kevin Hughes and Catherine Wylie amongst others.
President of the Tyrone Schools United Committee, Master McGrath, explained the reasoning behind their stance:
“To be honest, we’re sick of reading that Romeo prancey nonsense. Who in their right mind talks like that now, apart from a lock of families in Donaghmore? Then you’ve Yeats waffling on about swans or Easter. Give me a critical analysis of the writings of Ronan’s Rant in the Herald any day: “taunting the Man U fans was like poking a rottweiler with a stick” is lyrically magical and far better than anything Wilfred Owen ever attempted.”
McGrath added that he’s very much looking forward to seeing his students get their teeth into Alan Rodgers’ match reports, Catherine Wylie’s account of the Nigella Lawson case or Sheena McStravick’s take on the botox addiction in Mid-Ulster. He added:
“We need to get people reading for enjoyment. We have a wealth of literary talent in the county, instead of analysing the Macbeth codswallop. Ciaran Woods wrote an article last year on the pain of playing with in-grown toenails and it had me in tears. Such emotion. Our children need to be brought up on this stuff, not the pure balls William Wordsworth was spouting.”
Students will be allowed to choose two of their own modules alongside a compulsory module on Owen Mulligan’s latest book.
Evidence has come to light that CCEA, AQA and other examination boards may have marked down Tyrone students as far back as 1955 because of the particular dialect from the various regions within the county. News of this blatant discrimination was leaked after a Tyrone teacher was accepted onto a GCSE marking team for the first time since education began. English teacher Mr Peter McKay from Gortin was sampling an exam answer with other teachers from England when it became clear he was letting certain words and phrases go which would otherwise be deemed a fail by the vast majority of markers.
“I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was marking a piece of Romeo and Juliet coursework and the student, who seemed to be from a Dungannon school, wrote ‘Romeo is a bit of a gope who should’ve shut his bake. Their going out with each other was completely banjaxed from the start as it looks like Juliet’s head was cut. I think Romeo couldn’t be scundered with her, like”. I gave that full marks whilst these women from Manchester gave it 0%. The alarm bells were ringing.”
McKay says things got worse when they moved onto the essay about describing your favourite day:
“This boy from Omagh wrote a deadly piece about bringing in the hay before the rain last year. I gave it 98%. I remember some of it clearly. “My oul lad said it’d be tarra if we didn’t get her lifted. I was acting the clift and yarnin and buckin about with our boy. ‘Wheest’ says he. ‘Stop acting the ganches yous two’. Our boy then started lashing rings around him after that feed of scallions and with the snatters tripping me I had to give her 90. It was some handlin. Our boy is some bollocks.” Now, you tell me what’s wrong with that. The Manchester ones gave it 2%. Pure discrimination. We nearly cut the lining out of each other.”
The examination boards are to backdate results since ’55 and any Tyrone native who sat English as an O Level of GSCE will receive a new result, two grades higher.