Policy Point: Interim measure required for NCEA Literacy and Numeracy

Dr Michael Johnston
5 December, 2023

From 2026, students will have to pass new assessments in reading, writing and numeracy to attain any level of NCEA. However, pilots of the new assessments in 2022 and the first full-scale assessment round for these new standards in 2023 indicate that if they are adopted as a corequisite for NCEA as planned, completion rates for the qualification will fall precipitously.

The incoming National-led government has prioritised a move towards evidence-based, structured methods of teaching literacy in primary schools. Similar moves for numeracy are also necessary. The incoming government has also promised to rewrite the curriculum, which will assist teachers to sequence learning more effectively.

It will take time, however, for these changes to work through into improvements in the literacy and numeracy skills of senior secondary students. In the meantime, certification of literacy and numeracy should be separated from NCEA.

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