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Labour’s scholarship backdown welcome

Labour’s scholarship backdown welcome

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says Labour's backdown on scholarship will be good for students and for education standards.

“Scholarship in 2005 will work better because students will get marks or grades, and the top 2 or 3 percent of students in each subject are likely to pass the scholarship exam.

“The new scholarship exam is a fundamental shift in philosophy. Labour and NZQA have resisted any move to rank students against each other, but the public furore has forced them to take advice from experienced educators.

“The big question now is how long will the Government resist changing NCEA levels 1-3 to fix problems affecting thousands of students who are not on the top academic level.

"The scholarship changes affect only a few thousand students. A further 100,000 students will be subject to further unfair assessment in 2005 because NCEA remains unchanged.

"Trevor Mallard caused these problems and he owes it to those thousands of students, and their parents, to get it right in 2005," says Mr English.

“Ministers also need to explain how the top scholars in each subject and each school will be chosen, when the 2004 scholarship exams did not rank students.

“More than 300 awards of up to $15,000 have not yet been allocated.

“The changes for 2005 are welcome, but they simply show there is no coherent basis for using the 2004 results to pick out some students for the large financial awards available.”

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