INDEPENDENT NEWS

Parents Not Consulted Over Abolition Of Exams

Published: Wed 29 Nov 2000 10:14 AM
ACT education spokesperson Donna Awatere Huata MP said today that the Ministry of Education has not consulted parents about planned far-reaching changes, which will affect their children’s educational qualifications.
“Parents have no idea about the abolition of senior exams, to make way for the planned National Certificate of Educational Achievement. These dramatic changes will turn their children into guinea pigs and place their future careers in jeopardy. This is terrible.
“Parents need to understand that the NCEA will rip away the opportunity for students to gain a credible and trusted senior school qualification – regardless of family circumstances or which school they attend.
“No trials or tests have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of the NCEA. The Education Ministry has made only superficial attempts to explain the new certificate to teachers. Some 82 per cent of teachers balloted by the PPTA said they were unhappy to go ahead with the NCEA until they were properly resourced.
“Also, nearly half of teachers recently surveyed said they supported banning the new qualification until a time allowance was given.
“The Minister of Education cannot continue to implement the NCEA and sweep the ramifications under the carpet. Parents and teachers must be told the whole truth. Professor Cedric Hall’s research proves the NCEA is unreliable. He found that if a student scores 50 percent in an external maths exam, their actual skill ability lies between 40-60 percent. However, under the NCEA, a 50 percent score could indicate an actual ability of anywhere between 29-71 percent.”
Mrs Huata said a similar assessment scheme for senior secondary students failed miserably overseas and employers could not rely on the assessment based scheme to identify the skills they needed.
“The NCEA has a broader assessment scheme and the infrastructure is dubious. It is difficult to obtain your ‘true’ mark in a particular subject, because marking guides may vary from school to school. And there is not the resources or the time to check if the school down the road is using similar assessment benchmarks.
“We need to raise the level of education in our country. And the only way we can do that is work on what we already have, make standards of assessment and benchmarks clearer – not water them down,” Mrs Huata said.
ENDS

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