Physics and NCEA

Interested in this news from [Today’s Christchurch Press]

The number of students choosing not to do National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) in maths and physics reveals slips in the country’s education system, business leaders say.

The number of candidates sitting maths with calculus and sitting physics at Level 3 in this year’s NCEA exams has dropped by 24 per cent and 15% respectively, compared with the numbers taking the last Bursary exams in 2003.

Those taking calculus fell to 7766 this year from 10,280 in 2003, and those being examined in physics dropped from 7761 to 6611.

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said maths and physics were important subjects.

“I have a suspicion that the way NCEA is structured is encouraging people to get easy credits,” he said.

Interesting given my thoughts about Mark from last week. The cynic in me thinks this is a school grade average matter rather than ‘what’s best for the learner’. The very coarse “average grade and number of passes” statistic does nothing to evaluate value added or support for students. Oh well!!

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