African countries labelled incorrectly on GCSE Geography exam

Edexcel wrongly labelled Gabon as the Republic of the Congo in a GCSE geography paper

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Exam board Edexcel has been slammed by angry teachers after they labelled the wrong countries on a map of Africa in a GCSE geography paper.

The error, which saw the Republic of the Congo labelled as Gabon has been described as “glaring” and “shocking”.

The map was part of a question about Africa’s top oil producing countries, and also included correct labels of Nigeria and Angola.

A GCSE geography paper labelled the wrong countries on a map of Africa
A GCSE geography paper labelled the wrong countries on a map of Africa

One secondary school geography teacher spoke out about his frustration at the “ridiculous” error.

He said: “For a GCSE exam board to set a geography paper that contains the wrong geography is ridiculous.

“To get a map wrong in a geography exam is pretty inexcusable. It’s basic stuff. For an examining board to label countries incorrectly and give the wrong information is pretty shocking to say the least.

“There were students who were confused by it and were thrown by it. It made it harder to answer the question.

“Thousands of kids across England and Wales sat that paper yesterday. These papers are drawn up by so-called experts.

“There have been a lot of complaints to the exam board. To get basic stuff like that wrong is unforgivable," he told Mail Online.

The error has been described as “glaring” and “shocking”
The error has been described as “glaring” and “shocking”

He added: “I’ve been a teacher for nearly 10 years now and it’s the first time I’ve seen anything as bad as this.

“People are very annoyed by it. It is such a glaring and shocking mistake to any geographer.

“We only get to see it after the exam so there is nothing you can do about it but there have been a lot of complaints to the exam board. They have been inundated.

“A lot of heads of department have said they will be swapping exam boards.

“It’s an atrocious mistake from an exam body setting GCSE papers.

“They have been rubbish in all three papers this year, but this is by far the worst mistake.”

While other teachers also slammed the error, including Elizabeth Saunders who described it as “utterly disgraceful!”.

While another wrote alongside a picture of the map: “When your geography exam board can’t even produce an accurate map of Africa!

“An apology to the people of Gabon and Republic of the Congo is urgently needed. Truly appalling.”

In a statement, Pearson Edexcel said: “We apologise for the unintentional error in the labelling of a map in our GCSE Geography paper and any confusion caused.

“We will ensure students are not impacted by awarding marks for references to either country.”