As you’ve probably heard, the government is undertaking a major overhaul of the education system, with a specific focus on NCEA. They have launched the ‘NCEA have your say’ conversation to get feedback and ideas from New Zealanders.

As students, one of our favourite pastimes is complaining about NCEA. Now’s our chance to complain in a way that can make a difference!

It’s so important as students for us to make our voices heard in this conversation. Too often important decisions about youth issues are dominated by adults. Most of the time they are well meaning, and experts in their field, but they are all missing one key thing – experience of what school is like today.

How to make your voice heard

  • Haven’t got a lot of time? Do this quick survey  about your experiences of NCEA and ideas about how to make it better.
  • Do this longer survey about the ‘big opportunities’ that the Ministry of Education has identified to strengthen NCEA.
  • Attend one of the public workshops that are being held all around the country in June/July, to participate in the conversation in person.
  • Enter the Make Your Mark competition that the Ministry is running, in one of the three categories. Emerging leaders is about leading a student team to capture the youth voice in your school. In ‘Express yourself, you get to tell your story and share your ideas through creative mediums like writing, video or animation, or artwork. Smart ideas. Smart futuresinvolves researching and presenting a proposal on how to take NCEA ‘from good to great’. All of these competitions can be presented however you like, and there are some amazing prizes, so they’re definitely worth entering.
  • Many schools will be running NCEA conversations, so make sure to get involved if you get the opportunity.
  • If nothing’s happening at your school – start the conversation yourself! Have a chat to a teacher and some friends that you think would be keen to help. There’s a huge amount of resources on the website that you could use to help you get it started, and at the end you can submit a detailed submission about all the opinions and ideas you’ve collected to the Ministry.
  • Use the special social media tags on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. These are: #NCEAReview #NCEAHaveYourSay #EdConvo18 #NCEAMakeYourMark

Most of all, spread the word! Talk to all your friends and get them involved in the conversation too. The more youth voice we can get, the better!

Kate is a Year 12 student from Canterbury. She enjoys music, languages, sunny days, and a good book.


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