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Abandon Ship-ley Sinks NCEA

Monday 12 February 2001

“The multiparty deal that stopped debate during the last election campaign over the scrapping of School Cert and Bursary and their replacement with an experimental NCEA award is officially dead,” Concerned Teachers spokesperson Peter Calvert said today.

Mr Calvert made the statement after new National Spokesperson Mr Gerry Brownlee’s stated “that he (Brownlee) welcomed the National Party’s decision to abandon the National Certificate of Educational Achievement.”

“One of the key arguments used by those in favour of the NCEA was that it was supported by both National and Labour. Now that argument no longer holds any water. National’s ‘Abandon Ship’ will leave Labour’s Mallard watching for his own rats to start deserting. We call on Labour to head back to port and let the Guinea Pigs disembark as well!” Mr Calvert said.

“This at least means political debate will intensify about the biggest experiment on our young people in New Zealand educational history.”

Mr Calvert said in a ballot of teachers last year 82% of thought the NCEA could not be implemented in 2002. “Teachers want a minimum of a one year delay and a baseline review of senior school qualifications.”

“New Zealand’s experiment with NCEA has been closely modelled on the Scottish qualifications system which proved to be a disaster last year, leading to an emergency Scottish Parliamentary Inquiry to restore people’s faith in their University Entrance award,” said Mr Calvert.

“It would a very brave Government indeed that tried to implement such a flawed qualification in an election year,” said Mr Calvert. “Mr Brownlee and the National Party are to be commended for having an open mind and dumping the implicit multi party accord on the NCEA.” Ends: For More information contact: Peter Calvert 021 2111 825 E-mail Website

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