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National Says Hold Off Next Level Of NCEA

12 June 2002

The Government should defer implementing level two of the NCEA to relieve teacher workload pressures and as an act of good faith in trying to resolve the crisis in secondary education, says National's Education spokesman, Nick Smith.

"The NCEA is proving to be far more problematic than anyone expected. It is at the heart of the current pay dispute which is the most disruptive in our history, particularly now that all extra-curricular activity has been suspended.

"It would also be a relief for Year 11 students who are facing the prospect of being used by the Government as 'guinea pigs' again next year.

"National warned the Government last year not to proceed with the implementation of NCEA without the teachers' contract settled, but the advice was ignored.

"With the current mess in secondary education, we would hope that the Government might now take advice.

"National's policy is not to proceed with NCEA Level 2 next year. We would urgently establish the systems needed to maintain Sixth Form Certificate without the School Certificate results which have been used in previous years.

"This problem is not insurmountable, but it must be sorted quickly.

"Last month, National announced its School Qualifications Policy whereby it would review the NCEA to address teacher workload pressures and other problems associated with the new qualification.

"We would only further implement the NCEA when it had regained the confidence of teachers and when it was working successfully at Year 11," says Dr Smith.

Ends

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