Letter: Scientific progress

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The Independent Online
Sir: I graduated with an upper second in chemistry in 1970. This week I have been helping my 14-year-old daughter, in the first year of her GCSE studies in science, with some chemistry problems ("Shephard plans to make exams tougher", 6 December).

She was expected to tackle subjects in organic chemistry that I had not even considered until the lower sixth form. I cannot square this with the notion that children now are not being taught science to the same level as 20 years ago. Indeed, as sixth-formers back in the Sixties, we were doing as part of our revision studies for maths exam papers from the Oxford final MA in mathematics from the 1950s.

Each generation probably studies more and not less than their parents but we just don't like to admit it. This is really most unfair to our children.


Rayleigh, Essex