Spanish students wrestle with philosophy at exam time

Image of Francisco de la Torre, the mayor of Malaga, presenting the new hybrid buses. Credit: [email protected]

AS students in various regions of Spain start the exams that will determine whether or not they’re able to go on to university, some of the exceptionally highbrow topics they’ve been asked to write about are emerging.

In Madrid students were asked to consider political corruption in Spain’s ‘Golden Age,’ around the 16th century, while the Catalonian exams presented participants with a text on Muhammed Yunis, a Bangladeshi economist who has developed small-scale loans – ‘microcredit’ – to help local economies in poorer nations develop.

In Valencia, the examinees were given a question on media responses to disasters such as the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps, while elsewhere there were questions on the philosophy of Plato or Kant, an article titled ‘Datamining: torturing the data until they confess,’ Persian history, and prejudices mature women face in relationships with young men.

Certainly, amongst this spectacular array of challenging brain teasers, there can be few accusations that Spanish exams are dumbing down.

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