Pupils hail credit changes as ‘major relief’

Ethan Reille from Waitaki Boys High School. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

Secondary school pupils are breathing a sigh of relief after the Ministry of Education announced changes to credits for NCEA and university entrance.

The ministry has lowered the number of Learning Recognition Credits (LRC) required as a result of Covid-19 disrupting the school year.

Pupils will now require 10 LRCs at level 1, eight for levels 2 and 3, and 46 credits at merit or excellence, instead of 50. For university entrance pupils will need 14 credits in two UE-approved subjects, and 12 credits in a third UE-approved subject.

Waitaki secondary school leaders are welcoming the change, after many pupils have been rostered home due to Covid-19, and flu, related issues or dealt with illness themselves.

Cushla Bridges from St Kevins College. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

Waitaki Boys’ High School head boy Ethan Reille said the change was a ‘‘major relief’’ and gave pupils the push to keep working.

‘‘We’ve all worked so hard this year given the constant barriers and setbacks, so any kind of support is extremely appreciated,’’ Ethan said.

The change would have a big impact on pupils, as many had been ‘‘bloody stressed out’’ about passing their year, let alone dealing with sickness.

‘‘Battling the sickness ourself just adds to that stress and anxiety. It’s a worrying time that so often gets under›estimated.

‘‘Right now, all anyone wants is to pass. We know we will get there, like we always do, but that doesn’t mean to say it’s not going to be a rough and stressful time getting there.’’

While Waitaki Girls’ High School head girl Sophie McMillan-Sinclair was not personally concerned about reaching the credits needed, she had struggled catching up with assessments after battling Covid-19 and the flu.

‘‘I believe the increase of interruptions this year affected our pupils on a variety of levels, which makes the lowering of NCEA and UE a huge relief for some,’’ Sophie said.

‘‘I know there was stress for some around externals, as many rely heavily on these for UE and have been affected by sickness, so having the requirements lowered has taken off a lot of pressure.’’

In a joint statement, St Kevin’s College head pupils Jesse Valpy and Cushla Bridges said the move was ‘‘thoughtful and considerate’’ by the ministry.

‘‘It is nice to see that our frustrations and difficulties have been acknowledged, as clearly it is not the fault of the pupils, but rather an unfortunate situation for everyone,’’ they said.