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National opposes implementation of NCEA

Gerry Brownlee National Education Spokesperson

Monday 12 February 2001

National opposes implementation of NCEA

National's Education spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says he welcomes the party's decision to abandon the National Certificate of Educational Achievement.

"Students have a right to a qualification that is internationally recognised for its quality.

"Under Labour's NCEA our qualification system will become one of mediocrity - where excellence is not rewarded and failure is not addressed.

"Thousands of parents are concerned that in 2002 their children will be working towards a qualification that in reality has very little meaning.

"The final form of the NCEA is quite different from what was originally proposed by National a few years ago. Education Minister Trevor Mallard's proposal constitutes the dumbing down of our education system. There will be no subject scores or percentages, only one of three grades which, on their own, will tell very little about how a student actually fared in a subject.

"A large component of National's proposal involved external examinations but Labour's proposal involves more internal assessment at fifth and seventh form levels. Marks, percentages and percentile rankings were to be reported under our proposal but Labour does not want them reported. Students' records would have shown what was internally assessed and what was external but Labour will not include this information.

"National believes that we do need to upgrade our qualification system but it must not become an encumbrance on the ability of teachers to teach. Teachers have identified workload issues with the implementation of the NCEA. It would clearly be unacceptable for teaching time to be taken up assessing not teaching.

"We will be taking the good aspects of our original proposal and incorporating those into a new qualifications policy that will be announced before the next election," Mr Brownlee said.

Ends

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