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Nationwide Roadshow Planned on New School Qual.

Nationwide Roadshow Planned on New School Qualification


10 April 2000 Immediate Release

Nationwide Roadshow Planned on New School Qualification

A New Zealand-wide "roadshow" of 54 meetings on the new National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is being planned for next month by the Ministry of Education.

Two meetings will be held at each of the 27 venues, from Okaihau in the far north, to Invercargill.

Secondary school principals and a senior colleague will be invited to one meeting, while every secondary school board of trustees chair and another parent or student representative will be invited to the second.

"We want to be sure that everyone in each school's community: students, parents, board members, as well as staff, understands the significant ways this new qualification improves on School Certificate and University Bursaries, and what the change will mean for them," said Tim McMahon, project manager of the Qualifications Group, Ministry of Education.

"By running a really extensive roadshow like this, we can brief the key people from every school community, face-to-face, and hand over the resources they need to inform others."

Resources include a video, pamphlets and posters in English and te reo Maori, overhead transparencies, and a mail pack to be sent to all third form students and their families.

Every meeting will be attended by secondary school principals who have been involved in the development of the NCEA, and officials from the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

"We are already under way with meetings around New Zealand with the regional staff of Te Puni Kokiri (the Ministry of Maori Development) so that they understand the new qualification and have the resources to inform their iwi networks," he said.

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement, available to fifth formers (year 11) in 2002, will eventually replace School Certificate, Sixth Form Certificate, and University Bursaries.

External examinations will carry on and students will be able to build their NCEA by earning credit for achieving nationally agreed standards in a wide range of studies.

Detailed reports on their achievements in a wide range of external and internal assessment will show the level of credit, merit, or excellence that students achieve against the standards that are being developed by expert panels for every school subject.

"Reports will show students, and their future employers or educators, what they know and can do, and how well, in each part of each subject. Students' strengths and weaknesses will no longer be concealed under a general mark like 54%," said Tim McMahon.

Tim McMahon says the NCEA is not a radical change. "It's about being clearer in our expectations about what should be learned ... and about recognising and reporting on learning more fully and clearly."

As well as the roadshow to provide information resources, the Ministry of Education will begin a nationwide teacher professional development process in June.

"This is designed to ensure that every teacher in the senior secondary school has the resources, and confidence, by 2002, to carry out consistent and accurate assessment against the new achievement standards," said Tim McMahon.


For more information: Tim McMahon 04 471 0664 Michael Deaker 021 323 009

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