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PPTA supports scrapping NCEA fees

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Media Release

18 February 2004

PPTA supports scrapping NCEA fees

PPTA is supporting Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) calls for NCEA fees to be dropped to enable all students to achieve national qualifications.

A new report commissioned by CPAG finds that some high school students are still missing out on sitting their NCEA exams because their parents cannot afford the fees of up to $150.

It says while the system of giving out financial assistance and collecting fees has vastly improved since 2002, the inaugural year of NCEA, some students are still choosing which subjects they enter for based on what their family can afford, and withdrawing from subjects where they believe their chances of success are not high to keep their fees to the minimum.

PPTA president Phil Smith said the Association believed in a fully state-funded secondary education system and that included state funding of national examination fees.

“It is unfortunate that some students are still missing out either because their families do not qualify for financial assistance but are still too poor to afford exam fees, or because the students themselves are not letting their families know about the exam fees because they know the fees will be a source of family tension.

“If students are missing out on national qualifications because they cannot afford fees, surely we are denying them a fundamental human right to full and free education to age 19.”

Phil Smith said PPTA also supported CPAG’s call for NZQA to improve flexibility in the enforcement of cut-off dates, and to make fee invoices easier to understand for both students and families.

He said schools had worked hard to ensure parents and students knew about the requirements of NCEA but it was still a huge financial and administrative burden, particularly in low decile schools.

Ends

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