I don’t think it is over-stating to say that education is in a melt-down and crisis.
The problems at tertiary level go far beyond any wrong-doing by one institution. Even Labour have now agreed to review the funding model which has diverted hundreds of millions of dollars from quality teriary education into courses with almost no educational merit.
At secondary level the problems are even worse. The entire qualifications framework is discredited and in a shambles. Less than 5% of NZers would have confidence in the value of NCEA standards and if students, parents and employers all have lost confidence it doesn’t matter what the educational bureaucrats think. The job to rebuild confidence is not a quick fix but going to take many years and significant policy changes.
Even at primary level we are starting to hear that students are spending as much time in school learning “life skills”, as they are reading and writing.
I just hope that by the time I have kids, the problems have been sorted. I really feel sorry for those who are currently doing NCEA – pretty depressing to motivate yourself to study for something that no-one will value.
The NZ Herald editorial is very good, especially the final paragraph which says:
It is up to the Qualifications Authority, the Education Ministry and its minister to restore the confidence of teachers and students quickly, not by denying there is a fundamental problem but by demonstrating they can get to grips with it, and fix it.