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National urges teachers to hold off NCEA

Nick Smith National Education Spokesperson

24 September 2002

National urges teachers to hold off NCEA

The Government must delay implementing the next round of the NCEA until the new qualification is working properly for fifth form students, said National's Education spokesperson, Nick Smith, at today's PPTA Conference.

"New Zealand secondary education is facing a crisis of confidence from the bully tactics of the Education Minister. Trevor Mallard is making as big a mess of the NCEA as he made of the teachers' pay dispute, and the losers, once again, are students.

"It is ridiculous that with only one term left this year, there's still total confusion around the Government's policy on Level 2 of the NCEA.

"It is a 'Clayton's choice' to say schools can proceed with Level 2 when they know little about the alternative transitional Sixth Form Certificate, and the Minister has already called it inferior.

"The idea floated that each school department would vote on whether Level 2 of the NCEA will proceed is chaotic and will leave students with a muddled and meaningless qualification.

"The Government has proved it is unable to show leadership on this issue, so National will. We propose:

* Sixth Form Certificate be retained for 2003 so problems with NCEA Level 1 can be addressed and resolved

* Work be completed urgently on the formula to generate Sixth Form Certificate grades from NCEA Level 1 exams

* NCEA Level 2 be piloted in a limited number of schools, on application, where the School Board and teachers support moving to NCEA at sixth form

"The Education Minister's plan to bulldoze ahead with the NCEA is putting the new qualification in serious jeopardy. A measured, more consultative approach is what's needed to get the qualifications reform back on track," says Dr Smith.


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