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Education outperforming Business

Education outperforming Business

- New Zealand Principals’ Federation -

The New Zealand Principals’ Federation is delighted with the latest results of the National Education Monitoring Project (NEMP), released yesterday.

Every four years, the NEMP project assesses more than 2800 Year 4 and Year 8 children from 248 primary schools, testing mathematics, social studies and information skills. The latest findings show there were improvements for pupils in more complex maths tasks such as algebra, logic and statistics. Maths is now the second most popular subject for Year 4 students, and the third most popular for Year 8 students.

The results also show girls and boys performed equally on most maths questions, and disparities between the performance of children in high and low-decile schools have reduced in the last four years. The gap between Maori and Pakeha students is also closing.

NZPF President Pat Newman says the results show that teachers’ professional development is working. “This is a great reward for our teachers, who work hard to ensure they can provide the best education possible for our children. I think it also reflects the early results of the Numeracy Development Project, launched in 2000 and run in about 1600 primary schools. The project has seen hundreds of primary school teachers undertake intensive training on how to understand and teach mathematics better. That training is now paying off.”

Newman says that the New Zealand education system consistently performs highly compared to other OECD countries. “Our education system and results almost always put us in the top quarter of OECD countries. Even our business sector can’t claim such consistent achievements.”

While the report was mostly favourable, it did show that students found it difficult to give instant answers to basic facts. Newman says principals, parents and teachers can work together to solve this issue.

“We need to work together to constantly reinforce the basic maths functions. Principals and teachers can do this at school. Parents can also share this role, at home, in the car, when playing outside – anywhere, really. It’s all about reinforcing the basic knowledge, so that it comes easily to the children.”


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