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Get Off Your High Horse, Mallard

Wednesday 12 Feb 2003 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Education -- NCEA Campaign

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today slammed the Education Minister's attitude toward increased exam fees, labelling it outrageous and arrogant.

"Mr Mallard promised schools that the new NCEA qualifications would not cost more. Yet, now, he has done a U-turn on fees," Ms Coddington said.

"His cavalier dismissal of principals' concerns is typical of this Government's attitude to education - particularly the NCEA.

"The Prime Minister's statement contained nothing about this dangerous experiment being foisted on students. Now we learn children are dropping out of classes, or leaving school without qualifications, because they can't afford to pay the exam fees.

"Just this morning the principal of one of New Zealand's top secondary schools told me the NCEA is `the biggest fraud perpetuated'.

"In 2004 - if this Government has its stubborn way - Year 13 pupils will be enmeshed in their third year of NCEA standards-based assessment. By that time many families will have two, even three, children doing NCEA. How will they manage to pay the exam fees?

"The ACT Party will continue the fight to dump this politically correct, dumbing down of education standards the Minister is determined to force on to schools whether they want it or not," Ms Coddington said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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