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Students more competent than NZQA

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

29 March 2006

Students more competent than NZQA

NZQA has quietly awarded two additional 'premiere scholarships' to students who discovered they had been cheated out of the prized qualification, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

The students were awarded the scholarship after they approached NZQA complaining that the eligibility for the award had changed without students being notified.

Mr English says NZQA shifted the goalposts without telling the players.

"If these two students had not themselves noticed the error they would not have been awarded the $30,000 scholarships they had worked so hard to earn.

"It's a real worry that secondary school students are so much more competent than officials at the agency charged with administering our national secondary schools qualification.

"NZQA should show good faith by apologising for their incompetence rather than making excuses for misleading our top students and trying to hide it.

"This kind of ridiculous and incompetent error shows that NZQA is still a long way from giving a fair deal to some of our brightest students," says Mr English.

This follows revelations last week that the scholarship calculus exam was so poorly set that half of the students sitting it got less than 5% and students who scored as low as 18% were awarded scholarship.

It has also been revealed that eight students who achieved full marks in visual arts were not awarded outstanding scholarships when, in every other subject, students who achieved full marks were.


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