Lockdown’s impact on student learning dire

NZQA’s assessment that the University Entrance pass rates for 2020 would have ‘fallen off a cliff’ without free credits shows the huge impact lockdown disruption is having on learning, National’s Education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“Every time we go into lockdown our children are missing out on vital class time.

“With our educational achievement falling off the pace internationally already, we should be doing everything we can to avoid further lockdowns.”

NZQA’s CE Grant Clinkum was answering questions in this morning’s Annual Review of NZQA before the Education select committee.

In a normal year around 50 per cent of year 13 students achieve University Entrance. Mr Clinkum told the committee this morning, without the additional learning credits that pass rate would have fallen 8 points, to around 42 per cent. He described it as ‘falling off a cliff’. 

Overall, provisional NCEA pass rates were a little higher in 2020 than in 2019, but this was largely due to extra credits being handed out to students to reflect the pressure of Covid19.

“Handing out extra credit was the right thing to do at the time in recognising the pressures students faced in an unprecedented situation,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“But we should not kid ourselves that there wasn’t a huge impact on learning. 

“Students, teachers, schools and parents worked hard through 2020 to make the best of a difficult situation, and in Auckland they’re doing it again now.

“But when decisions are made to disrupt learning again, we should be under no illusion about the material affect it is having.

“Shutting schools and disrupting learning should be the very last resort.”