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NCEA heading for 'massive shambles', claims principal

Another influential voice has been added to those criticising the NCEA assessment system this week.

A top secondary school principal is forecasting more universities will introduce their own entrance exams as discontent grows over the National Certificate of Education Achievement (NCEA) system.

Auckland Grammar headmaster John Morris said NCEA was heading for a "massive shambles" with an increasing number of schools considering switching to alternative overseas exams such as the Cambridge International.

Mr Morris wrote to the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA), of which is a former board member, last week questioning recent recommendations which appeared to be a move towards more internal assessment.

He feared the initiatives could lead to more schools looking at adopting international qualifications.

Mr Morris said if the directives were introduced an increase in internal assessment would lack comparability and lead to universities introducing their own entrance exams.

Mr Morris also accused NCEA officials of leading schools to accumulate credits rather than challenge pupils.

He also hit out at schools being admonished for entering students into courses which might fail, asking what kind of system would discourage schools from challenging students academically.

NZQA deputy chief executive Bali Haque said Mr Morris was wrong and there would not be an increase in internal assessment.

- NZPA

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