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The Mapp Report - 10 November 2006

The Mapp Report
10 November 2006

Is our education system letting down our youth?

Political correctness has sneaked into our education system with dire consequences for the future of New Zealand’s youth.

High School students will be allowed to use text language in future NCEA exams as long as their answers illustrate required understanding according to media reports this week. As poet Bill Mahire said this is to the detriment of our educational system overall.

Setting standards

Are we content with setting our youth up to fail when they leave school? Allowing text language in formal examinations means our youth will leave school under the impression that they do not have to use proper English in the outside world. This is a severe misconception that will result in stagnating New Zealand in third world status. We should be promoting a workforce full of educated people capable of high standards of communication.

Our youth are our future and we do not want a future devoid of progress or success.

Our education system should not cater to pupils at the expense of our educational standards. We should be developing a reputation of highly skilled and highly intelligent new Zealanders.

Text language is appropriate for weekends amongst friends but not for formal examinations. We do not want a generation of illiterate New Zealanders.

We must send a firm message

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority has asserted that students who use text language in exams will be penalised.

However, contrary to this NZQA deputy chief executive of qualifications Bali Haque said credit would be given in this year's NCEA exams if the answer clearly shows the required understanding even if text abbreviations are used.

We need to take a stand on this and send a clear message to New Zealand youth that we are a country that expects the best from them.

North Harbour Stadium will showcase world class venue

The Rugby World Cup stadium debate has been a hot topic this week. The 2011 competition is fast approaching and New Zealanders are still unsure where they will be sitting to watch these historic matches.

The North Harbour option is the least expensive and the least likely to cause traffic congestion. It could become the centre of a total sports precinct with a velodrome, indoor area (for netball, etc), an indoor swimming pool, and a venue for Auckland cricket. The stadium would also have to be suitable for a 400m track.

Not only could we get the World Cup 2011, but possibly even the Commonwealth Games in 2014 or 2018. The stadium would be much cheaper than either Eden Park or the waterfront option.

North Harbour Stadium the best solution for the 2011 Rugby World Cup

It is clear that New Zealand will be judged by viewers around the world when it hosts the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Our stadium will be a reflection of our commitment to provide a first class venue for a first class competition.

The North Harbour Stadium will showcase New Zealand as a Rugby nation. The Western Ring Route which is scheduled to commence next year will ensure traffic congestion is none existent during the Rugby World Cup. The stadium is not in a suburban area so noise pollution and parking issues will not be of concern. And most importantly it is the most cost effective option.

New Zealand only has one chance to make a good impression for the Rugby World Cup. Let’s opt for the North Harbour Stadium for the venue in 2011 and ensure the rest of the world leaves New Zealand itching to come back.

Dr Wayne Mapp

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