Shining a Pasifika light on the NCEA Review

A Pasifika perspective on the Ministry of Education’s Six Big Opportunities for the NCEA review

Sinapi Taeao

PPTA Komiti Pasifika member Sinapi Taeao 

Pasifika teachers had the opportunity to share their experiences on NCEA and used the Six Big Opportunities to provoke, inspire and encourage the talanoa on the upcoming NCEA review at the PPTA Pasifika fono – Ama Takiloa on Monday 16 July 2018.

Making NCEA work for teachers and students is important to our members, and the workshop was a productive space to share ideas.

Workshop attendees were curious to know how the changes would be implemented, and how much professional development would be available for teachers needing to upskill. There were concerns raised about the fragmentation of subject areas and inconsistencies in the value of credits across subject areas.

One of the most pertinent comments urged the government not to change for the sake of change!

Creating space at NCEA Level 1 for powerful learning

Some thought the proposal that NCEA Level 1 become a 40-credit qualification is achievable – 20 for a project and 20 for literacy and numeracy. Others were worried that basic numeracy and literacy will be missed or ‘brushed over’.

A challenge for the Samoan community is that a 40 credit Level 1 may mean fewer students taking specialty subjects like Samoan. Forty credits may limit young people’s world and opportunity.

As with all change in the sector, the impact of teacher workload was a concern, as was the importance of change being based on sound evidence.

Some wondered whether the voices of students and whānau/aiga would be heard.

Strengthening literacy and numeracy

There were suggestions that teachers could change our ‘traditional’ style of questioning and instead test the application of skills and knowledge. Is there an opportunity for this to be gained through other languages such as Samoan?

Ensuring NCEA Levels 2 and 3 support good connections beyond schooling

Workshop attendees stressed that work opportunities need to extend beyond the coffee shop. Our young people need connections right across the economy – limiting them to low-paid service jobs is institutional racism at its worst.

That begs the question, though; who will make the connections for our children, and who will be responsible for creating that change? And, how do we motivate and sustain student interest?

Some wondered whether changes to NCEA would be reflected in the expectations and teaching methods in universities.

Making it easier for teachers, schools, and kura to refocus on learning

It was clear the group believed that culturally responsive pedagogy should be paramount and inclusive.

Within the current system there is still that possibility, but clearly more time and energy is required to make long term and sustainable change.

Ensuring the Record of Achievement tells us about learners’ capabilities

Teachers raised the prospect that project-based learning may affect students’ records of learning. Learnings must be reported in an appropriate way and reflect the purpose of the project.

Dismantling barriers to NCEA

All activities that are curriculum-based should be validated.  Speech competitions and community events should not be charged for these learning experiences.

Students need to be given a choice of working with a reader/writer, using a laptop, or other ways of supporting their learning and assessment.


[Image] Any of the images in the folder. Sinapi Taeao is the lone person.

Image caption (if you need one) – A Pasifika perspective: attendees at PPTA’s Pasifika Conference discus the NCEA review

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 September 2018 17:31