NCEA – can we make it better?

Wairoa Star – Stuart Nash 29 May 2018

NCEA – can we make it better?

Around 120,000 students gain an NCEA every year. They use their credits to build a path to further study, to a job, or just to reach a goal they have long dreamed of. Most secondary schools and wharekura offer NCEA. It shapes the way we teach and the way we learn. That’s the good news.
The not-so-good news is that we still have an alarming number of young people who leave school and go on to do nothing. They don’t go into any form of education, training or employment.
Employers says NCEA results don’t tell them everything they want to know about a new person they’re hiring. For example, have they ever had to collaborate as part of a team, or work with people from very different backgrounds to get a big job done?
The government is taking a fresh look at the NCEA system. We are keen to hear from students, families, whānau, teachers, school leaders, tertiary and industry training organisations, employers, and iwi.
At the moment, for NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3, students accumulate a set number of credits. It can be a bit of a grab-bag. Sometimes people are focussed only on hitting the required number of credits. We want them to be able to stand back and think about the overall qualification they are building, or where it is likely to lead them.
So if someone wants to go into the trades, maybe they want to be a builder, they will need certain maths skills. But they are not necessarily guaranteed to get those maths skills out of NCEA at the moment.
Constant assessment over three years can also overshadow the wider learning curriculum. Not everyone gets the same opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need.
The NCEA review means we will listen to as many voices as possible. This includes voices from Wairoa. Public consultation runs till 16 September. More information is at the Education Conversation website, Kōrero Mātauranga. https://conversation.education.govt.nz/ncea

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