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Friday, December 23, 2005

Parents mystified by new school reports

The Mercury: Parents mystified by new school reports [23dec05]

PARENTS have been dumbfounded by their first look at school reports under the new Essential Learnings curriculum, the State Opposition says.

And parents of Year 10 students are concerned the new final year certificate will not be of any use to leavers seeking employment.

Liberal education spokesman Peter Gutwein said the Year 10 certificates were a disgrace and a number of irate parents had contacted his office.

He also said the certificates provided no real assistance to potential employers deciding whether or not to hire young Tasmanians.

"I can't see any possibility of any employer obtaining any useful information from the new Year 10 graduation certificate," Mr Gutwein said.

"All it contains is a few lines of Education Department generic rhetoric attempting to explain each learning area and then three scales supposedly measuring a student's progress."

The certificate shows each student's final assessment represented as black dots on three scales for Being Literate, Being Numerate and Maintaining Wellbeing.

Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry employment education training unit manager Jodie Stevenson also criticised the report and certificate formats.

She said the format and language could only be understood by those who'd studied education at uni.

Ms Stevenson said the first impression for anyone applying for a job was the CV and educational documentation, and employers did not want to have to buy a manual or take a course to be able to interpret them.

"The Essential Learnings does reflect the valuable skills that employers are looking for, but we can't tell that from these reports and certificates," she said.

One complaining parent said all the hard work done by their child was ignored by the Year 10 certificate.

"Twelve years of schooling are summed up in three miserable lines that indicate nothing," the parent wrote.

But Education Minister Paula Wriedt said the certificates had been developed after wide consultation with employers.

"More than 40 employers, as well as the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, apprenticeship centres and group training authorities have either been briefed or individually consulted on the Year 10 certificate," she said.


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