Monday 15 Jul 2002
The administrative burden of NCEA threatens to engulf teaching and learning. It holds back students and `dumbs down' results. It fails to provide students, parents and future employers with useful information.
Labour is treating our children as guinea pigs. No work has been done to ensure consistency of teaching or marking between teachers in the same school, yet alone between different schools. In many subjects and class levels, teachers are yet to receive secure assessment benchmarks.
The NCEA tests are not helped by the dubious new curriculum with its vague, patchy educational outcomes.
ACT New Zealand will lift education standards We will place strong emphasis on sound educational programmes focused on core learning areas. By redefining state curricula and exam requirements, we will place greater reliance on external assessment so teachers have the freedom to teach. These changes will remove current anxieties and uncertainties, improve morale, improve teaching and learning, and significantly raise student achievement levels.
· Scrap NCEA immediately.
· Upgrade School Certificate. Replace Sixth Form Certificate (year 12) with a Junior Bursary which will form the first of a two-year programme of study culminating in Senior Bursary (year 13).
· Use external agencies to administer and mark independent examination papers. This will ensure consistency and reduce non-core work for teachers. Singapore, one of the highest achieving countries in international comparative surveys, uses examination programmes provided by Cambridge University.
· Require all schools to teach a national curriculum limited to four core subjects: reading, mathematics, science and social studies. Outside these core subjects, schools will have the opportunity to offer a wide variety of educational courses.