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No accountability for scholarship debacle

Hon Bill English - National Party Education Spokesman

9 February 2005

No accountability for scholarship debacle

The Associate Education Minister, David Benson-Pope, has defied calls today in Parliament for accountability in the NCEA scholarship debacle, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

"The Education Minister has blamed students, teachers and even the community for the mess he finds himself in. He has pointed his finger at everyone except himself and his officials who run and oversee the system.

"Today he refused to accept that anyone was accountable.

"The only way to ensure confidence in the NCEA is restored is to make sure the heads of those behind the scholarship debacle roll.

"Students wanting to sit scholarship exams at the end of this year will be appalled and insulted by the Minister's statement that 'nothing has gone wrong'. He has shown nothing but contempt for our best and brightest who strive for excellence in education.

"The Minister's compensatory Distinction Awards are an insult to students who have worked hard, in some cases for years, to achieve the premier academic award for New Zealand secondary school students.

"He might think he has bought his way out of the mess but he has lost the confidence of students, parents and teachers. If he is serious about excellence in education, heads should roll," says Mr English.

ENDS

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