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Mallard Losing The Plot Over NCEA

26 August 2002

Mallard Losing The Plot Over NCEA

The Education Minister's about-face on Level 2 of the NCEA is a huge blow to teachers and students still struggling to come to grips with Level 1 of the new qualification, says National Leader Bill English.

Trevor Mallard has announced that the introduction of Level 2 next year is optional, and that it would be a school by school, or even department by department, decision as to whether to proceed.

"This back down by the Minister is utterly bizarre. Only two weeks ago, he was vigorously defending rolling out Level 2 of the NCEA next year, despite opposition by most secondary teachers, Opposition parties and many parents," says Mr English.

"Many schools will struggle to work out how to implement an 'optional' Level 2 and I'm not surprised to hear one teacher describe the situation this morning as a "dog's breakfast".

"57-thousand Year 11 students are already facing the prospect of a botched qualification at year's end. Trevor Mallard has messed up the one chance these students have at a fifth form qualification, and he's now trying to pass the buck to schools by claiming Level 2 would be "available" but not compulsory.

"National called on the Government to halt implementation of Level 2 until the problems around Level 1 were sorted. This advice was ignored, and as a result, irreparable damage is being done to secondary education in New Zealand," says Mr English.

Ends

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