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Parents Find NCEA Lacking - Survey

Parents Find NCEA Lacking - Survey

A new survey shows that many parents still have doubts about the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), struggle to understand the results and want schools to offer a mix of New Zealand and international qualifications.

The Colmar Brunton survey was conducted among 1780 New Zealand parents who are members of the ASG Scholarships Group, a mutual cooperative of parents planning for their children’s higher education.

Nearly a third of respondents with children at secondary school felt the NCEA was not adequately preparing students for tertiary study, and 23% questioned its level of preparation for job seeking.

Asked whether they felt their children would be better prepared for tertiary study under the NCEA, 31% said they thought the groundwork was “about the same as before”. Less than a quarter (23%) felt that their children would be better prepared.

Questioned whether they believed the qualification would improve job prospects, 44% of respondents saw it making no change. Just 16% thought it would improve prospects.

Comparing the standards of the new qualification with the old, more than a third (35%) of respondents with secondary school-aged children felt it was worse, while19% said it was better.

“The new qualification is clearly a concern for many of our parents considering tertiary education and job training prospects for their children,” says Drew Umbers, spokesperson for the ASG Scholarships Group.

“We welcome the Government’s plan to review the NCEA next year and we urge the Education Minister to listen and act on these important issues raised by parents.

“What is apparent from the survey is that a significant number of parents are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach because they’re not yet willing to fully back the qualification,” he says.

The survey reported some confusion about the student results profile, the Record of Learning, with 35% of those asked saying they understood it fully, but 29% saying they did not understand it at all.

When asked about the workload created by the NCEA, most parents (80%) surveyed agreed there was more work for teachers, while 46% also reported a heavier workload for students.

The survey also studied attitudes about international qualifications and showed strong support among ASG parents for schools offering a mix of New Zealand and overseas qualifications.

“Nearly 70% of our parents surveyed said they wanted both, while 30% voted for New Zealand qualifications only,” says Drew Umbers.

He added that the strong supporters of both qualifications were predominantly those families with pre-school and primary children. “These are people who are obviously looking to the future education of their children, and are used to living in a global society,” he says.

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