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NZQA puts wet blanket on real qualifications

NZQA puts wet blanket on real qualifications

Thursday 17 Feb 2005

Deborah Coddington - Press Releases - Education

The NZQA should stop pinching the names of credible qualifications and using them to label new, nonsense non-qualifications, ACT Education spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"First they pinched `scholarship' from the New Zealand Scholarship Trust (NZEST) and turned a prestigious examination for the country's top students into a standards-based NCEA nonsense. NZEST warned that it would not be a true scholarship, `assessed in a manner which recognises and preserves the essentially competitive nature of our national scholarship tradition'," Miss Coddington said.

"Then they stole `University Entrance' in a feeble attempt to redress the effects of more than a decade of dumbing down the education system to the extent that 18 percent of students were leaving school in a `functionally illiterate' state.

"UE was once a rigorous exam which sorted out which students would be ready to go to university. Having foisted the `Look-Say' method of reading onto generations of children, educational bureaucrats found too many were turning up at universities unable to read or spell.

"It's no surprise that up to six percent of students are now being turned away from universities. It's hard for students but it's not their fault. They're not necessarily dumb, just the product of left-wing education which tries to drag everyone down to the same level.

"There's nothing wrong with being non-academic. This country's crying out for skilled tradesmen and women. It's time to bring back traditional apprenticeships, dump unit standards and standards-based assessment.

"The Government sneers that NCEA is here to stay. ACT calls on National to tell the country exactly what it would do if it became the government after the next election. Bill English had made a fine job of exposing the flaws, now it's time to provide some solutions.

"He could take another of ACT's ideas - let schools dump the NCEA and allow more students to sit alternative qualifications. Let parents, teachers and children choose," Miss Coddington said.


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