JC Economics

I have long wanted to produce a discourse on the problems with our Economics syllabus of the A Levels but this time I just happen to get the right amount of fuel for it. That’s after getting a really lousy score for an essay I have written that I was pretty proud of. The marker’s comments: “Recognise that you are well-read but exploration of crucial concepts needs more emphasis/details as required by the A Levels syllabus”.

So what can I say about that? True, I do have the knack for not defining terms I deem not worth defining, such as ‘Market Failure’, or ‘Public Goods’ and reading The Economist have trained me to give no attention to explanation of ‘simple but crucial’ concepts of occupational immobility or how negative externality arises (I cited a mere example for that). These are too insignificant compared to the point that I am arguing, that we cannot leave the allocation of economic resources to price mechanism alone. That’s dangerous. Too bad, the people, preoccupied with fulfilling the A Level syllabus, failed to allow students to pursue the true essence of Economics and thus have to force students to write out what they know (about extremely basic concepts) in order to give scores for that. That being true, even if we produce a college standard theory paper to answer the exact question in A Levels would probably fail the paper.

For Sciences, what we are learning is far from the stuff in the cutting edge of research and education can hardly catch up for students to be working on really profound stuff because this information are generally not that easily accessible. Unfortunately, for humanities, the exploration of further and more profound concepts by an ordinary student like me is possible with the publication and the fact that the subject can be elaborated and explained in much simpler languages even for rather advanced portions. This feature is derived from the very fact that Economics is fundamentally very basic common sense that has been tested and made into theories. As such, having reached higher and attempting to climb further, I have to let go of the rungs at the bottom and give up my existing position. This is a dilemma and I really hope things change with the introduction of Macro-economics that is even more all-encompassing.

Formalization of education has very much benefitted us in the education of sciences, but for the arts, perhaps we should receive much more freedom. Geography, and History, both do not require us to give explanation on how statistics lie or explain very fundamental concepts like why wars occur and why weathering arises. So I guess, we should not be expected to be explaining to our markers that negative externality can be defined in some way though it do not always apply and narrate some very textbooks stuff that do not support the main argument at all.

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