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NCEA discrepancies unacceptable

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

8 February 2005

NCEA discrepancies unacceptable

The Government's admission that there are unacceptable discrepancies in NCEA scholarship results is a disgrace because it cheats thousands of young New Zealanders striving for excellence, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

David Benson-Pope, the Associate Education Minister, today released a report confirming that NCEA scholarship results were heavily skewed.

The report was ordered after the National Party and schools expressed concern that scholarships were not awarded fairly across all subjects. In particular, very few science scholarships were awarded relative to other subjects.

"The so-called 'distinction awards' announced today by Mr Benson-Pope are a tacky cover-up by a government that has shown contempt for excellence in education," says Mr English.

"Labour was warned last year that the scholarship system was likely to be a shambles but Trevor Mallard proceeded with it anyway and thousands of students are paying the price.

"Students who slogged all year to achieve our top secondary school qualification have been told today that the Government never took their aspirations seriously, and they have every right to be disgusted.

"As a parent of children in the public education system I cannot believe that our wonderful young people have been victims of such casual incompetence," says Mr English.

Ends

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