The owner of one of England’s three major exam boards has announced controversial measures to allow the Daleks, Doctor Who’s nemesis, to mark English exam essays in the UK from next month. Pearson, the American-based parent company of Edexcel, is to use the Daleks to ‘read’ and assess essays for international English tests amidst fears that GCSEs and A-levels will be next for Dalek marking. The move comes in the wake of rumours that ‘robot’ marking will replace traditional methods of marking in schools, with many doubting the accuracy of such tests.
Daleks are organisms from the planet Skaro, integrated within a tank-like mechanical casing. Described by Pearson as: ‘a powerful race bent on universal conquest and domination, and programmed to exist utterly without pity, compassion or remorse’, they were thought to be an ideal fit for the role. Spokesperson Helen Jeffereys said: “Basically, we were looking for somebody with no capacity for emotion, and with an evil, menacing undertone…the kind of creature who wouldn’t think twice before, well, exterminating the hopes and dreams of young children as they pedantically work their way through their exam papers. In the end, it was between the Daleks and a bunch of Germans, but it was no contest, really.”
Asked for comment, Dalek creator Davros would only remark: “Puny Earth creatures! Soon you will witness the awesome destructive power of my Daleks’ English paper marking technique,” as a Dalek henchman to his side exclaimed: “Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate the Earth creatures’ career prospects!”
Academics and leaders in the teaching profession, meanwhile, have strongly disapproved of the decision, arguing that using the Daleks to mark papers would create a “disaster waiting to happen”. “Using the Daleks to mark papers will create a disaster waiting to happen,” said Frank Nicol, Head of a Secondary School in Lincolnshire. “Does nobody realise that these creatures are ruthless killing machines, who will stop at nothing to – AAARRRGHHHHH!” The remainder of Mr. Nicol’s telephone interview, however, was drowned out by the sound of loud laser fire, electronic voices, and explosions.
Doctor Who was unavailable for comment, meanwhile, as he was thought to be independently inviligilating a three-hour A-Level French exam at a small comprehensive school in Surrey.