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 The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>


Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>


Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>


Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels