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Scholarship results must be released

Hon Bill English - National Party Education Spokesman

2 February 2005

Scholarship results must be released

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says a ministerial review of NCEA scholarship results will be a waste of time if the NZQA won't cooperate and publicly release the national results.

David Benson-Pope, the Associate Education Minister, this morning announced that he would review the scholarship results in light of speculation they had not been awarded fairly across subjects.

He said on radio that he would report back on the NCEA scholarships next week.

Mr English says schools have confirmed his concerns that very few science scholarships have been awarded, relative to other subjects.

"It is my understanding that of the 900 students sitting the scholarship English exam, 300 were successful. On the other hand, just nine of the 1,000 Biology students entered in the exam won the scholarship.

"This suggests that either the system that awards our top students is flawed or quality science teaching is lacking in our schools. Either way, there is cause for serious concern.

"Only an open public debate with full and accurate information can clear this situation up and that can't happen while the NZQA refuses to release nationwide scholarship figures before April.

"Though a few results may change as a result of student appeals, public interest in the credibility of scholarship exams should see the interim results released immediately," says Mr English.

ENDS

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