Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Gordon Gives An E To A-Levels

The Alliance Education Spokesperson, Dr Liz Gordon is asking the Minister of Education to warn schools that purchasing A-Level curricula is money down the drain.

"A-Level examinations have been heavily criticised in the UK for their narrowness and inflexibility. Model answers to questions are freely available to students on the internet."

"I simply cannot see how these examinations will be relevant to New Zealand schools. How on earth is a British based curriculum ever going to cover the Treaty of Waitangi or any other vital aspects of New Zealand history and culture?"

"There is no advantage to New Zealand in importing these exams and significant disadvantage. Parents will be under huge pressure to 'pay-up' in order that their children can sit these additional exams. Teachers will be forced to offer a dual curriculum, with performance implications for both the NCEA and A-levels.

"Schools should be aware that the use of the name 'Cambridge' is merely an attractive brand name. It does not herald any great status as the examinations are not overseen by Cambridge University. Cambridge International Examinations is a spin-off from the now defunct British local examinations structure, a company set up to sell examinations that are no longer profitable in existing markets." said Liz Gordon, who also chairs the Education and Science Select Committee.

She said schools have denied that they are spending money on "designer labels".

"So I ask them whether they would take on a senior school curriculum sold by Bangkok or Nairobi or New Delhi, if they were up to standard. And of course they wouldn't."



"It is all about status and not at all about substance."

Dr Gordon wants Mr Mallard to remind schools that the NCEA has been praised internationally, while the A-levels have been panned. She wants him to urge schools to think very carefully before buying into an expensive system with no obvious benefits for New Zealand.

"In my view, we need to reject such backward looking colonialism and ensure that both the curriculum and the methods of assessment used in our schools are relevant to New Zealand and the educational needs of the 21st century" said Liz Gordon.

Liz Gordon has been looking closely into this issue.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sir Michael Cullen’s Tax Reform

To ordinary wage and salary earners who (a) watch a slice of their gross income being taxed every week via PAYE and who also (b) pay GST on every single thing they buy, there has been something quite surreal about the centre-right’s angry and anguished reactions to the Tax Working Group’s final report... More>>

 
 

89 Cents An Hour: Govt Plans Fix For Minimum Wage For People With Disabilities

IHC is delighted that the Government is looking into replacing the Minimum Wage Exemption (MWE) with a wage supplement to ensure people with disabilities are paid at least the minimum wage. More>>

ALSO:

Te Waihanga: New Independent Commission To Tackle Infrastructure Issues

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – will be established as an Autonomous Crown Entity to carry out two broad functions – strategy and planning and procurement and delivery support. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>

ALSO:

Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>

ALSO:

Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels