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

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>


14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>


Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>


Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>


Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>


Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>


Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>


"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>





InfoPages News Channels