Zahawi condemns “cultural vandalism” after the Examination Committee replaces poetry with Larkin and Owen


British Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi blamed the “Cultural Destruction” test committee on Thursday after replacing the GCSE curriculum with the works of poets such as Philip Larkin and Wilfred Owen.

Zahawi said he would raise the issue on the examination committee. Downing Street also said the Minister of Education was backed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Oxford Cambridge and RSA (OCR) exams, major UK exam committees, Announced on Wednesday Updated the GCSE English Literature Poetry Collection to add “Various Voices to Poetry”.

The poems of 15 poets have been added to the anthology, 14 of which are “color poets”, including 6 black women and 1 “South Asian heritage”, and OCR boasts: did. “

The poet’s new choice is also more modern, with a number of living members in their thirties and one at the age of 28.

The board said the group ranged from “Somalia, England, a living poet of Ukrainian heritage to one of the first black women to publish a novel in the United States in the 19th century.” .. Ukrainian-American poet Ilya Kaminsky also pointed out that she was deaf. Jill Duffy, Chief Executive Officer of OCR, said: “This is an exciting series of poems that show our ongoing commitment to increasing the diversity of English literature that students work on.”

According to a more detailed explanation blog Of 14 British, Irish and American poets, including William Blake’s “Poison Tree”, “Broken Appointment” and Thomas Hardy’s “The Man He Killed” published on the Board’s website on Tuesday. The work was removed to free up space, Philip Larkin’s “Arundel Tomb”, John Keats’s “When I’m afraid I might be gone”, and Wilfred Owen’s “Youth of Destiny”. National anthem for “.

Some of Blake, Hardy, and Keets’ poems remain with the works of Emily Brontë Sylvia Plath, Jackie Kay, and Carol Andaffy, but Larkin and Owen no longer appear in the anthology.

Removing Larkin and Owen is a “cultural vandalism”

Zahawi commented on the report on the changes in the Times, calling Larkin and Owen “two of our best poets.”

“Removing their work from the curriculum is a cultural vandalism,” the Minister of Education wrote. twitter..

“Their work must be passed on to future generations, as it was for me. To clarify this, I will talk to the Examination Committee,” he said. rice field.

The Iraqi-born minister added that Larkin’s poetry taught “very” about his new home when he was a “improving” teenager. [his] Understanding English. “

“Future students must not deny the opportunity to build as strong a relationship as a great British writer, nor miss the joy of knowing his work,” he writes.

A spokesman at 10 Downing Street was asked if the Prime Minister would support Zahawi on this issue and said, “Yes … I hope the children will continue to receive extensive education in these areas.” ..

According to OCR, the revised anthology will be taught at school from September and will be taken for exams in June 2024.

He also states that in September 2023, he plans to introduce “more diverse textbooks” into A-level English and literature and GCSE and A-level media studies.

Lily Chow


Lily Zhou is a freelance writer who mainly covers the British news of The Epoch Times.