School students concerned by loss of NCEA subjects
• September 22, 2023
Students in the planning stage of a multimedia group project. Photo: Melissa Main
High school students feel that their social awareness will suffer with the upcoming NCEA remodel which sees the loss of subjects such as media studies and psychology from level one.
Almost 78 per cent of students believe their exposure to media studies has improved their empathy for other cultures according to a survey conducted on Instagram.
One of the students from the survey says, “It's an amazing subject that should be taught, especially in this day and age.
“It equips you with knowledge and also helps so many students in school who already intend to take a pathway in media (and) technology.”
Despite this, psychology, art history, Latin, and media studies are all due to be removed from NCEA level one.
The removal was prompted by the overcrowding of specialised subjects in level one according to the Ministry of Education.
But teachers are concerned.
“The humanities feels like it's being sidelined,” says Waitaki Boys High School English teacher Matthew Plunkett.
“Because people are less likely to have appreciation for great culture and this might impact in things like empathy or a lack of understanding for other perspectives.”
The survey also showed 62.2 per cent of students believe school is not properly preparing them for the digital age while a lot of media navigation is through individual learning.
“Media studies going also impacts on not understanding misinformation…(it) makes people more susceptible to being lied to or misinformed or manipulated” Mr Plunkett says.
A $700m government investment in digital infrastructure recognises digital fluency continues to be a developing factor in the curriculum.
This suggests there may be future plans for subjects on digital technology education.
Further NCEA developments include the addition of a Māori performing arts subject as well as broadening the science subjects.
Media studies is still set to be available in Level 2.
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