National backs commerce teachers’ petition

The proposed removal of specialised commerce subjects at NCEA Level 1 is going to leave Kiwis without strong financial and economic literacy, National MPs Todd McClay and Paul Goldsmith say.

Today Mr McClay will accept a petition urging the Government to reverse its decision to remove the specialised economics, business studies and accounting subjects from NCEA Level 1.

“Replacing the specialised subjects with a general commerce subject will mean students are left with fewer options to learn specialist economic, business and accounting knowledge and skills,” Mr McClay says.

“New Zealand’s economy is powered by hundreds of thousands of small businesses and it is crucial young Kiwis who will work in, manage and run such businesses have the opportunity to take the specialised subjects at NCEA Level 1.

“Not all students will take these subjects at University or even at years 12 and 13. Students should be given the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge these specialist subjects earlier.

“Teachers of commerce are best placed to know how important the subjects are for students. 1800 people concerned about the removal of these specialist subjects have signed this petition, the Government should be listening to them,” Mr McClay says.

National’s Education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says the proposals have not been justified and demonstrate the Government’s priorities in Education are wrong.   

“The Government has given no good reason for removing the three subjects.

“If the proposed commerce subject gave a rigorous introduction to the three subjects that might have allayed some fears, but the draft shows little detail about that.”

“It’s hard to know what to make of the four ideas driving the changes:

  1. Informed financial and non-financial decision making and action can result in the sustainable use of scarce resources and positive outcomes for stakeholders

  2. Whānau, communities, and organisations are financially interdependent

  3. Culture and values shape consumer perspectives and organisations’ pūtake

  4. Society benefits through kaitiakitanga, enterprise, innovation, and tauhokohoko

“The Government should focus on the basics in education rather than removing subjects without good reason. This means making sure kids attend school, teaching a world class curriculum and measuring performance to ensure progress is being made.”

Mr McClay and Mr Goldsmith are calling on the Government to listen to commerce teachers and reinstate Accounting, Economics and Business Studies at NCEA Level 1.

Note: The petition will be handed over at 1pm on the black and white tiles by Simone Hamilton, an economics teacher from Rotorua, and will be accepted by Mr McClay.

A link to the petition can be found here.