Ministry of Education proposes big changes to NCEA Level One

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 20 Feb 2020, 5:36PM
Latin and Classics may be dropped for Level 1 subjects. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Latin and Classics may be dropped for Level 1 subjects. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Ministry of Education proposes big changes to NCEA Level One

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 20 Feb 2020, 5:36PM

The Government is seeking public feedback on which new NCEA level one subjects should be taught and which should be merged or scrapped altogether.

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has proposed a number of changes to the year 11 curriculum, after the Government gave the green-light to a "comprehensive review" of NCEA level one.

The MoE has suggested scrapping the teaching of Latin, Classical Studies and Art History but adding a Māori Performing Arts option for students.

It has also proposed merging all sciences currently taught separately – Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Space Science – and putting them under one generic "Science" umbrella.

The proposed changes – which have gone out for public feedback until April – come after the Government confirmed it would implement what MoE described as a "comprehensive review" of NCEA level one.

"The NCEA qualification will be strengthened to help ensure teaching and learning is focused on the most important learning needed to set young people up for success," according to MoE Deputy Secretary, Ellen MacGregor-Reid.

NCEA Level one would remain optional, she confirmed.

But it would change to become broader and aims to allow students to keep their options open.

Meanwhile, NCEA levels two and three would become more specialised.

The proposed changes would not impact many of the core year 11 subjects.

For example, no changes would be made to English or Maths and Statistics.

But MoE is proposing merging a number of subjects together.

Economics, Business Studies and Accounting would, under the proposal, become Commerce.

Media Studies and Psychology would be brought together to become Social Studies.
The changes would not come into play until 2023.

"We want to ensure teachers and schools have the time and support they need for these changes," MacGregor-Reid said.

She said more than 50 subject expert groups may be convened, involving more than 400 senior secondary teachers and representatives from the tertiary sector and industry.

"Implementation of the changes will follow a staged approach, while details and timings may be subject to Budget 2020 and future Budget decisions."