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Sucky spelln rools, ok?

Colin King MP
National Party Associate Education Spokesman
(Trade Training)

21 November 2007

Sucky spelln rools, ok?

Labour’s appalling tolerance of plummeting literacy standards has sunk to a new low after revelations that plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying apprentices do not have to meet any spelling or writing standards when taking exams for plumbing registration, says National’s Associate Education (Trade Training) spokesman, Colin King.

The New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board states in its ‘Examination Process’ website that: ‘Candidates were advised that writing standards and spelling do not have an impact on the marking by markers who have a minimum of 25 years experience in the industry.’

“What chance do plumbers of tomorrow have if they are relying on red and blue knobs to distinguish hot and cold? How can these young people function, let alone excel, in a business without basic literacy?

“What is worse is that the pass rate for these exams is itself plummeting. Despite not having to be able to read and write, only 26% of the 196 plumbers who sat the exam passed – that compares to 37% last year. Gasfitting is almost as bad, with only 49% getting registration, compared to 66% in 2006.

“Despite rhetoric to the contrary, Labour has turned a blind eye to literacy standards for eight years, even allowing text language to be acceptable spelling in NCEA exams.

“It is not acceptable that one in five students leave school without the basic literacy and numeracy skills they need to succeed. It is even more unacceptable that this Labour Government appears to have given up by tolerating the illiterate monster it has created.

“Literacy is a cornerstone of National’s education policy. Sadly, it appears to be a millstone of Labour’s.”


Ends

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