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Government Concedes On NCEA

National is encouraged by Education Minister Trevor Mallard's concession that marks as well as grades will now be given to fifth form students when studying for the National Certificate of Educational Achievement from next year, National's Education spokesperson Gerry Brownlee said today.

"We have scored a major breakthrough which I hope now means we can discuss our remaining concerns about the NCEA.

"Mr Mallard's original plans to impose a dumbed down grading system in the NCEA would have jeopardised the value of the secondary school qualifications being sought by young New Zealanders from next year.

"There will still be a vast range of abilities within the three achievement grades of credit, merit and excellence. Marks will help students know when they need to work a bit harder and will allow parents to see progress.

"We remain very concerned that Mr Mallard's proposed NCEA has very low credibility in the wider community and will not be viable in the long term. This morning I wrote to Mr Mallard outlining our concerns and asking if these can be accommodated.

"It is critically important that the two major parties agree on the shape and implementation of future secondary school qualifications. Mr Mallard should not drag his feet. He must arrange a purposeful dialogue, with the opposition having equal access to departmental officials.

"If Mr Mallard accepts our concerns then progress toward certainty for young New Zealanders and their parents in our qualifications system will be closer," Mr Brownlee said.


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