3 March 2004
Report overlooks resourcing problems
An ERO report released today identifies the positive impact of NCEA on many students’ learning but largely overlooks continuing teacher workload problems caused by the under-resourcing of the qualification, according to PPTA president Phil Smith.
Mr Smith said that though it was positive that NCEA was meeting the needs of more secondary students than the previous school certificate and sixth form certificate, the report seemed to understate the scale of under-resourcing that schools had experienced.
“If the Government analysed the true cost of implementing NCEA in secondary schools, it would find that schools have had to bear a significant burden of that cost from their operations grants.”
He said that the report acknowledged that factors such as the implementation timeline, variable training, lack of exemplars in some areas, delays in availability of new standards, workload and additional costs had caused implementation problems.
However, most of its recommendations only talked about what teachers and schools should do about that and not the Government.
“It smacks of something that the Minister has requested. ERO has put an overly rosy spin on a system which still has significant resourcing problems and it effectively absolves the Minister and Government of any responsibility to knuckle down and deal with the difficulties facing schools.”
Mr Smith said the Government had relied on secondary teachers’ time, cooperation, energy and perseverance to make NCEA successful for students.
“The fact that most schools reported successful implementation of Level 1 and 2 reflects teachers’ hard work and commitment to making NCEA successful for their students.”
He also doubted the veracity of the report’s assertion that most schools were confident of implementing NCEA Level 3.
“Schools naturally want to protect their reputation. What school would say to ERO that it was not confident of implementing NCEA Level 3?”