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Ensuring no repeat of exam debacle top priority

Wednesday, 9 February 2005

Ogilvy: Ensuring no repeat of exam debacle top priority

The Government and the NZQA must jointly take responsibility and will be the prime movers in ensuring that there is no repeat of the 2004 scholarship exams debacle, United Future education spokesman Bernie Ogilvy said today.

"Right now everyone is playing the blame game and running for cover. It is clear that the Government and the NZQA need to take this one on the chin. No excuses.

"Basically the system has failed because of a lack of checks and balances before the exams were delivered to students.

"Ironically, it is precisely the same lack that saw last month's controversy over a politically loaded exam question involving a fictional MP, that the Education Select Committee today agreed to have a formal inquiry into.

"The issue comes down to a 'loose unit' approach from the NZQA.

"Only one thing is certain - top teachers and top students didn't become bad overnight; the problem lies elsewhere and they should not be blamed.

"Now let's see some concrete and transparent steps to, first and foremost, guarantee that there is no repeat of this fiasco this year.

"Educating the young is a baseline requirement of any country and this is a huge failure. All focus and energy now needs to go into putting it right," he said.

ENDS

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