National | Education

'Worrying' drop in students sitting NCEA exams

The number of students who sat NCEA last year compared to the year before has taken a deep dive, worrying leading Māori educationalist Rawiri Wright.

"Our kura kaupapa and aho matua kids continue to thrive because we have strong support from everyone. But we worry for our Māori students who attend mainstream schools," he says.  "This was highlighted in ERO reports. We must find better solutions to benefit all Māori students in the education system."

Last year exams for 35,000 Māori students were affected by Covid-19, and the arrival of Omicron may signal the start of more disruption.

"It's about whakamāori, it's about introducing a very Māori focused method in mainstream.  I believe we need to stop the use of the word Auraki and we introduce the term Aunoa. History tells us this and we must look to enhance and develop a new foundation."

NCEA results became available for 160,000 students yesterday - but the achievement rate was lower than in 2020.

"This is something principals must continue to advocate, they must continue to challenge the Ministry of Education to provide the right resources to support the students' learning environment."

The final official NCEA results are still being collected as schools have until the end of February to submit internal results.