Urgent Action Needed To Restore Schools’ Confidence In Online Exams

Published: Thu 2 May 2024 02:00 PM
Recommendations of the review into major glitches with some NCEA online exams last year need to be implemented urgently to ensure schools’ confidence in the system, says Kate Gainsford, Chair of the Secondary Principals’ Council.
“As the report notes, last year’s events were very stressful for everyone involved, especially the students. It is reasonable to expect fast lessons will have been learned and steps taken to make sure the technology and related systems work without issue this year. Whatever it takes to restore our trust in the system, it must be done.”
“An explanation of the drivers for why digital exams should be relied on as opposed to traditional hard copies is important for students, parents and schools to see and understand. A world class assessment system is not cheap and the investment needs are great both within NZQA and within schools.”
Chris Abercrombie, PPTA Te Wehengarua president, said teachers welcomed the review’s recommendations to provide more support for principal’s nominees in schools. Principal’s nominees are individual teachers in each school who are the key liaison between the schools and the Qualifications Authority and have overall responsibility for the running of exams in their school.
“We are really proud of how all the principal’s nominees responded to the problems with exams last year. They did amazing work under intense pressure, stepping up to ensure that those students affected were assisted as quickly and effectively as possible.”
Chris Abercrombie reiterated the call for more funding for the Qualifications Authority to ensure it had all the systems and safeguards in place for future exams. “We can have either good assessment or cheap assessment – we can’t have both.”

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