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Labour should listen to the education experts

The Government should listen to the strong message from accounting and economics teachers that its proposed curriculum changes are misplaced and go back to the drawing board, National’s Education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

Reports out today show only 7 per cent of teachers believe the Government’s new NCEA commerce curriculum, with its plan to abolish accounting, economics and business studies at NCEA Level 1, is on the right track.

“National believes accounting, economics and business studies should continue to be standalone subjects at NCEA Level 1 and we back the teachers who continue to advocate against the Government’s proposed changes,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“The Government has provided no justification for removing these subjects at NCEA Level 1.

“Concerns may have been allayed if the new commerce subject provided a rigorous introduction to the topic. But it doesn’t, it just delays specialist teaching one year.

“The goal of our education system must be to prepare young New Zealanders to succeed globally. Economics, accounting and business studies are global subjects and we want young Kiwis to be able to foot it with the best in the world.

“Like many of the curriculum changes, the commerce proposals are far too insular. They focus inwardly on New Zealand’s uniqueness when as a small, outward-facing, trading nation we should be thinking globally and learning how the rest of the world operates.

“Instead of trying to embed its own ideology through the curriculum changes, the Government should focus on the basics in education.

“This means making sure kids attend school, measuring progress and turning around our declining performance in foundational subjects, such as maths, english and science.

“National is calling on the Government to listen to teachers, the experts when it comes to teaching these subjects, and reinstate accounting, economics and business studies at NCEA Level 1.”

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