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NZQA Success: Space Exploration Has Taken Off

NZQA Success: Space Exploration Has Taken Off

March 9 2006

Six months after it was launched, the NCEA course Space Exploration has turned out to be more popular than the other secondary school courses in astronomy.

Over 80 students from schools throughout the country have obtained credits for the new course registered towards their NCEA.

The course is taught on the internet to secondary school students by the National Observatory of New Zealand in Wellington

This is the first time that the new NZQA standard, Space Exploration, has been presented to students.

Observatory spokesperson Robert Shaw said the popularity of the course demonstrated some important features of New Zealand’s qualifications system.

“Recent criticism of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority needs to be set against the success of the new system.”

“Because of NZQA’s operation of the new system, it was possible for the National Observatory to innovate and establish astronomy as a formal part of our examinations system.”

The ability to rapidly develop our secondary school curriculum is very important for New Zealand.

“The purpose of the astronomy initiatives was to attract students into the further study of science and technology. It is vital for New Zealand that we develop scientific and technological literacy - and astronomy is a great place for students to start.”

It is great the system works, Mr Shaw added.


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