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Bursary, NCEA mix in 2004 ‘no problem’

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4 November 2002 - embargoed until 1pm

Bursary, NCEA mix in 2004 ‘no problem’

New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s assertion that there are not enough chief examiners to provide Bursary alongside NCEA Level 3 in 2004 is laughable, says the PPTA in its submission to a select committee inquiry into the implementation of the NCEA.

PPTA president Jen McCutcheon said the association acknowledged that its position to defer full implementation of Level 3 until 2006 differed with the Ministry and NZQA’s. However, it disagreed that dual assessment in 2004 would not be feasible.

“The explanation that NZQA cannot find enough suitable teachers to be Chief Examiners for both Bursary and Level 3 NCEA in the same year does not hold water.

“We can accept that there would be extra costs in having duplicate Chief Examiners, but the assertion that there are not two teachers in New Zealand per subject capable of being Chief Examiners is laughable.”

PPTA’s submission to the Education and Science Select Committee Inquiry into the NCEA identifies problems prior to, and throughout, the implementation of NCEA Level 1, as well as the association’s views on NCEA Level 2 and Level 3 implementation.

It says the association believed deferment of Level 1 from 2001 to 2002 was a good decision, however, insufficient extra resourcing was provided to take advantage of that.

“Problems which arose during implementation could have been identified much earlier, and solutions found, if the (Secondary Sector) forum had met regularly during 2001 and 2002.” Dissolution of the Qualifications Development Group in mid-2001 was “a serious error” with fewer Ministry staff working on the NCEA when they were most needed.

The submission illustrates the extent of problems with NCEA Level 1 implementation, including: availability and quality of assessment tasks; lack of training of teachers to produce their own assessment tasks; problems with assessment terminology and criteria; and with software required to enter students and send results to NZQA.

It also expresses PPTA’s concerns at what it calls ‘administrivia’, the increased operational costs of NCEA, the workload of teachers under NCEA, and poor communication between the agencies and schools in the first half of 2002.

It commends the Ministry and NZQA for working through recommendations from HOD meetings. “The lessons of Level 1 need to be used to avoid similar problems at Level 2 … but we are concerned about whether this work is adequately funded or resourced.”


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