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TXT exams: Maharey thinks he’s cool

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

9 November 2006

TXT exams: Maharey thinks he’s cool

Labour’s acceptance of text language in NCEA exams undermines standards and is misleading to students, says National’s Education spokesman, Bill English.

He is commenting on confirmation from the NZQA today that it will accept exam answers written in text message-style language in NCEA exams.

“Education Minister Steve Maharey should put his foot down and just say ‘no’ to this ridiculous idea,”says Mr English.

“The Minister and the NZQA are more interested in trying to look cool than in ensuring high standards in the classroom.

“Most students are smart enough to know that they need to use standard English to communicate their ideas, but this decision gives them licence to slack off. Students I have spoken to just can’t believe their luck.

“This kind of pigeon English is fine for young people organising their social lives, but it is not an acceptable way of expressing an academic argument or idea.

“Students should communicate in exams the way they would in the workplace, and even Steve Maharey must know that no employer will accept any kind of report written in text-speak.

“At a time when the Government should be doing all it can to build confidence in NCEA, this barmy decision will only further undermine confidence in the troubled qualification,” says Mr English.


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