National Party MP Judith Collins has apologised after Auckland’s Rosehill College corrected what it says was “misinformation” about a school subject the politician shared in a newsletter to supporters.
Collins said in her initial newsletter that constituents had written to her in “desperation” about their children’s educational prospects after being advised students would “only be able to select 5 subjects in 2024 as the school was introducing a compulsory Manakitanga subject”.
“A child in Year 12 who has clear goals for university study and is required to take 6 specific subjects to gain entry to, say, medical school will not meet this criteria if they have to include Manakitanga in their Year 12 study,” it read.
Three days later Rosehill College’s principal, Davida Suasua, made a post on the school’s website and said no change had been made that would negatively affect post-school options. The subject, Manaakitia Mai, was an expansion of an existing compulsory programme.
“I take exception to our school being pulled into politics and used as a platform to voice her personal issues with the current government’s education policies,” she said.
“While true that most Year 12s will only select 5 subjects in 2024, the implication that Rosehill College would make changes that negatively impact on student future pathways is disappointing. It is incorrect to claim that students need 6 subjects to qualify for medical and health sciences pathways, the rank-score system for selective entry only counts 5 subjects.”
Suasua said the kaupapa of Manaakitia Mai was focused on pastoral, academic tracking, literacy and numeracy skills appropriate for all Year levels including mentoring all students to ensure they have the correct subjects to pursue their career pathway.
“The programme also includes the opportunity for senior students to pursue New Zealand Scholarship and develop study skills.
“Rosehill College has always had 5 subjects for Year 13 students and those gifted and talented students have always been able to select 6 subjects – this will not change. In the past, academically able Year 12 students have been able to select Level 3 NCEA courses – this will not change.”
The principal was unavailable for an interview with the Herald.
Collins has since apologised to Suasua for the confusion and said she will provide a clarification in the next newsletter.
She told the Herald she was reflecting the concerns of several constituents who were worried about the compulsory nature of the subject and were worried about their children’s medical career options.
Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you