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Kids Sit the Wrong NCEA Exam

Kids Sit the Wrong NCEA Exam

As predicted, failure to implement NCEA smoothly has resulted in children sitting the wrong exam paper, ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata said today.

"The myriad of computer systems to send information from schools to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and back have struggled from day one.

"The revelation today that individual students have ended up with the wrong exam papers, and that an entire classroom of Christchurch secondary students sat the wrong exam, is further evidence that not enough thought went into NCEA before it was foisted on New Zealand kids.

"An entire classroom of Hornby High children is now stuck without any way to get a fair or accurate mark.

"As usual, NZQA is blaming the school for a database error. This is typical. Under resourced and over stretched, NZQA has adopted a defensive and combative attitude.

"The real failure was that of the Minister of Education and his two agencies, the Ministry of Education and NZQA, to run trials, ensure computer systems were adequate and train schools to use the new databases before the new qualification framework was introduced.

"There are serious and unresolved problems with the software required to enter students and communicate with NZQA. The lack of standard administrative software for all schools has caused problems, worsened by the lack of staff at NZQA with detailed knowledge of the various systems.

"And NZQA's own database system is atrocious. It has revealed new bugs constantly, and NZQA has admitted that previously accurate data is liable to change throughout the year.

"Schools warned months ago that they had great difficulty obtaining accurate information on students, and they worried about the ability of NZQA to provide the correct exam papers.

"NCEA has been a complete mess. If the Minister had introduced a pilot scheme before he rammed the new qualification into place, we wouldn't have to rely on plain good luck for kids to sit the correct examinations," Mrs Awatere Huata said.

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