Read the following passage and mark the letter A, B, C, or D on your answer sheet to indicate them correct answer to each of the question.
Education is an issue which concerns many people in the UK as well as round the world. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland pupils sit GCSE (General Certificate in Secondary Education) exams followed 2 years later by A (Advanced) levels. Pupils in Scotland follow a different system, finishing their time at school with the Higher Leaving Certificate. One particular worry - why are boys doing so badly?
Some twenty years ago, the performance of girls and boys in class was compared. Boys scored better in exams, so various measures were introduced to improve the performance of girls, including having single sex girl-only classes. Now, the situation is reversed, with girls consistently out-performing boys.
So, what has gone wrong with boys, and what can be done about it? John Dunsford, leader of the association of head teachers of secondary schools, says that that the academic failure of boys is a problem which has its roots in society rather than the classroom. Girls, more than boys, see education as a passport to a good job. On the other hand, according to Penny Lewis, a head teacher, young men lack confidence, which they hide with a show of bravado. They’re uncertain about their place in society. Some boys grow up in families where there is no male role model to follow.
Moreover, boys may learn in a different way to girls, preferring small amounts of work with immediate deadlines rather than large projects stretching into the distance. And education is not seen as “cool”.
As one contributor to a BBC website put it, “Girls achieve more at school because they are watching the future while the boys are watching the girls.”
This is not just a problem in Britain. In a study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and UNESCO, girls out-performed boys at reading at the age of 15 in all 45 countries. The UK ranks ninth out of the 45 countries for reading despite the fact that pupils in the UK spend less time reading than in most other countries. Interestingly, the study suggested that British children read for pleasure more often than those in other countries.
What does the author mean by the phrase “see education as a passport” in the passage?