For those in the UK: Were you encouraged to leave school with only GCSE's?

by truthseeker 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • truthseeker

    There was a recent thread about the Oct 8th Awake, on education for teen mothers. Note, that this magazine is really catered to teen mothers who are already witnesses.

    The Awake is so subtle, in fact, if you want any ideas about what's happening in the Watchtower religion, read the Awake!!!

    Although appearing to be designed for public consumption, note that on page 11 the Society says(tm) "Even so, from time to time, a young girl who has been taught God's ways chooses to ignore or reject what she knows. She gets involved in sexual immorality and finds herself pregnant. How do true Christians react?"

    The article also comments on the same page under a picture that, "It is wise for single mothers to finish their basic schooling."

    With that in mind, as well as the glossy brochure released two years ago on, "Youths - What Will You Do With Your Life", it is obvious that the Society does not want college educated members.

    Many of you have written about how your parents denied you the opportunity to go to college or university, some were even encouraged to drop out of high school.

    For those who were raised in the UK, was the situation much different? Of course, you all get the same meeting parts, mags and talks. How do British Witnesses view further education? Higher education?

    Were you encouraged to leave school after getting your GCSE's?

    For those not familiar with the British education system, here it is in a nutshell.

    Compulsory Education

    Complete secondary education at age 16. You get GCSE's (General Certificate of Secondary Education)

    This basic schooling, which finishes at 16, will not get you a well paying job - there are exceptions of course.

    After you complete your compulsory education, you can take a number of options.

    Further Education

    A Levels - these can be taken in the school you graduate from, or you can take them in college. They are two years in length and are more academically oriented than BTEC programs. Most finish their A levels at age 18.

    BTEC - Business Technology and Education Council, provides career programs in technology, IT, HEalth & Beauty etc.

    City & Guilds Levels 1-3 / NVQ Levels 1-3 Typically career oriented programs available in many subjects, and are roughly equivalent to A levels.Apprenticeship programs also award these certifications, etc, City & Guilds in Refrigeration, Info. Technology.

    Some UK witnesses were OK with further education - sure you can go to college for 2 years, but it stops there! Anyone have any experiences about this?

    Higher Education

    If you have completed A Levels or a BTEC 2 year program, you can go to university which is another 3 years. If you have a BTEC National Diploma, you can go on to take your BTEC HND (Higher National Diploma), then you need only do 2 years at university.

    Moving on...

    If you were raised in the UK, how did your parents react to the Society's "suggestion" to quit school and pioneer? Or is the situation different there than the USA?

  • Englishman

    I left school at age 15 without even taking the basic GCSE's, back then they were simply known as GCE's.

    I was encouraged to work in a factory with a bro as my foreman. I earned £5.50 per week, which equated to £4.95 after tax. I gave my mother £3.00 a week for my keep which left me exactly £1.95p a week to fritter as I liked.

    Let the good times roll!


  • truthseeker

    wow E-man, 5.50 a week. The minimum wage goes up to 4.85 a week next month!

  • LittleToe

    Well, I left school before the GCSE system came in, so I had GCE's and CSE's (the GCSE system combined and replaced both of the previous systems in the late 80's).

    But, yes, I had all the encouragement I needed to start a window cleaning round before I left school, and leave as soon as early possible to Pioneer.
    I left in the April of that year, at the grand old age of sixteen, and returned for my exams with little revision. I didn't think I'd need them as Armaggedon was so close (a true story...).

    A number of years later I went back to college as a mature student, for further qualifications.
    I now continue to improve my Curriculum Vitae through the Open University.
    I've found their lack a real debilitating influence on my career and mobility.

    Do they still have the "AS-level" (equivalent to half an A-Level)?

  • Englishman
    wow E-man, 5.50 a week. The minimum wage goes up to 4.85 a week next month!

    Umm.....that's £4.85 per hour actually. Wassat, $8+ per hour? Englishman.

  • truthseeker

    Littletoe, I believe that the half A levels are still in. Funny you should mention window cleaning - probably the most honourable profession among pioneer brothers. Some friends I knew made quite a bot with their rounds, not to mention gardening etc...

  • black ghost
    black ghost

    Tres intereting!

    this is the most often talked about topic whwnevr i talk to ex jws or my younger bro + sister, i left school without even trying because all i knew was that i would be unacceptable to my family and the jw cronies if i dared not pioneer. out of about 8 of us in that age group 7 pioneered and started their happy lives as window cleaners or glass technicians- or in Marks & spencer's shop was a standard joke

    anyway i left school and since have had more than 30 jobs-simply because i'm not made for working in a factory or a shop, it is a sure way to get me running round the town centre with a machete! and so i kept moving on.

    i remeber an elders son went to uni-oh the scandal!!!!!!it was the most talked about topic for decades, and interestingly there was a lot of bitterness because he got a chance to study while the rest of us were pressurised not to. well good for him, but bad for the rest of us suckers.

  • VM44

    I have heard of A-Levels and O-Levels, A being the more advanced.

    Are O-levels still around?


  • sleepy

    Yes . Thats why I'm in colledge now at 30 years old. All the older teenagers were pioneers and I was encouraged not to get a career but to pioneer. I was crap at pioneering , I never felt comfortable calling on people, and it was just a matter of getting time in. I've cleaned windows since I was 17, doing a few other things inbetween. Its not bad money here in Britian though I can easilly earn £13-17 and hour,(I knew some witnesses getting up to £30 an hour) when its not rainning. But it such a boring mind draining job even the though of money cant make me want to do it any more and I stick to 2 days a week the rest in colledge in the hope of finding an interesting job.

  • dh

    when i was growing up a jw in the 80's, higher education was 'frowned' on, and it was all about pioneering, and that was it, university was condemned, as time went on, in the early 90's, they started to turn around a little, saying that now school wasn't so terrible, but then i left and that was that, no more jw's.

    by the time i left the jw's i had already been out of school a few years, i left school when i was 15, it's not something i really regret either, i was never encouraged to do anything.

Share this