Harry Potter joins Shakespeare, Dickens in Brit schools

London, April 28: Kids in the UK can now look forward to studying something besides Shakespeare and Dickens in school, for they will soon have the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends to sift through.

However, the decision to add Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone from JK Rowlings best-selling series to the A-level English syllabus has caused a bit of a row in the country, with experts saying the move will dumb down exams.

From next year onwards, school kids will have to pen a 1,500-word essay comparing Rowling and another writer, as well as an 800-word story inspired by the book.

Professor Alan Smithers, of the Centre for Education Research, was not impressed with the move.

I dont think Harry Potter is appropriate. It may be enjoyable but I dont think we are just trying to keep people occupied, The Sun quoted him, as saying.

Added Nick Seaton, of the Campaign for Real Education: Children should be encouraged to read the great works of literature. Harry Potter may be what they want to read but that doesnt mean it should be part of an A-level.

However, the AQA, which sets half the UKs exams, defended its move saying: Harry Potter is a genuine example of literature of our time. It deserves its place in this unit.

Bureau Report