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So, exams are now underway for NCEA for High Schoolers who‘ve had —to be frank— a pretty crappy couple of years post Covid at school.
Disruptions due to strikes, floods, weather... and that was all after they were just getting their feet back under the desks post lockdowns. So not a great few years for those trying to head to Uni in a couple of years time.
But I know that in my many cases, teachers have worked really hard to get everybody up to speed and make up for lost time. It’s tough though because the stats aren’t great when it comes to where our kids are at educationally. It’s one of the key planks of the new government’s focus —to turn those stats around— and rightly so.
The less we educate our kids and the less time they spend in school – the worse the outcomes are for them. We as a country then suffer too with low productivity, a low skills economy, young people disengaged, and a general dumbing down of society.
Actually, I wonder if that’s already happened.
But there are still far too many young people not attending school or dropping out early. What I’ve found from our experience, with kids who leave school early versus those who see High School through to the end, is that the ones who dropped out early in a rush to get out into the world regret it later down the track. There is something about finishing something you started. Even though these days to be honest many of them have already passed their grades for that year before they even sit the exams.
So you can see how it’s tempting, if you’ve already passed the year in July, then there seems no point in staying on grades-wise. But there’s something collegial and lovely about friendships at school and going through stages with your peers.
I’ll be fascinated to see what happens to Uni stats in the next couple of years, having had a big decline in on campus attendance, whether that pings back up or not. But how ready these kids coming through High School at the moment will actually be for Uni remains to be seen. Given all the disruptions, all the curriculum issues, all the poor test results and high failure rates, how will they actually fare in a tertiary environment? Are our High Schools who’ve been hit with so much chaos due to Covid, weather, strikes and so on churning out students good enough to go forward and do well?
Because if they’re not, then we as a country are inheriting a way bigger problem than just bored kids.
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