Students have say

WESTERN Australian students have suggested that Year 12 exams stay in place, but all subjects — not just TEE subjects — should be tested.

Continual assessment throughout the year should be considered more highly in determining their overall achievements.

These sentiments and others were suggested by more than 150 students at a special forum recently held as part of the review of post-compulsory education in the state.

Education Minister Colin Barnett opened the half-day student conference at Presbyterian Ladies College, involving people from schools, training organisations, universities and the workforce.

After examining the present state of Year 11 and 12 and the TEE, students presented their findings to each other and to members working on the post-compulsory review from the Curriculum Council. The last comprehensive review occurred 13 years ago.

Input on the review has been sought since December when the Curriculum Council released a working document outlining possible changes.

“A new approach to upper school is needed in WA to make Years 11 and 12 more relevant, to help us boost retention rates into the post-compulsory years and to recognise the rapid growth in the area of vocational education and training,” the Minister said.

Input from the half-day conference, together with that from broader education circles and the general community, will be collated into a draft consultation paper to be released for public comment in July.

Suggestions to date have included:

• That schools should take into account differences in students’ learning abilities and their cultural backgrounds and cater equally for them

• That academic achievement should not be the only basis for university entrance and that oral interviews should be considered

• That school work completed throughout Year 12 should be externally assessed and then included in final marks.

Curriculum Council CEO Paul Albert said a second student forum would be held in August at Cyril Jackson Senior High School and forums would also be held in country areas of the state, involving schools, parents and students, during August and September.

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