25 Feb 2015

NZQA defends Maori exams

5:21 am on 25 February 2015

The Qualifications Authority is defending criticism from a kura body over how two Maori language exams are credited.

Nga Kura a Iwi o Aotearoa, which oversees 25 tribal schools, said Te Reo Maori and the total immersion paper, Te Reo Rangatira, were worth 12 credits each, and was unfair to students sitting the Reo Rangatira exam.

In a statement, the Authority's Deputy chief executive Richard Thornton said the allocation of credits was related to the predicted amount of time required by a student to complete the standard.

He said with that in mind, they had got it right - because the approach was appropriate for quite different types of learners.

Mr Thornton said Te Reo Maori and Te Reo Rangatira were different subjects and covered different learning areas.

He said the Maori exam assessed a students' ability to learn it as an additional language, and in this context there was a need for the instructions in the examination to be in English.

Mr Thornton said the other exam was designed for students who speak Te Reo as a first language, and were learning in a Maori immersion medium.

He said it was similar for students who spoke English as a first language studying English.

In order to respond within Te Manu Korihi's deadline for publication, the Qualifications Authority said it was unable to find any correspondence with the chair of the Nga Kura a Iwi o Aotearoa, Pem Bird, from 2009.

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