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A pair of Cromwell sisters say delaying exams will hurt pupils and tens of thousands of their peers agree with them.
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) announced on Wednesday NCEA exams would be pushed back by two weeks and would now be held between November 22 and December 14.
An online petition was formed soon after the announcement calling for the NZQA to reconsider the decision.
It has attracted more than 22,000 signatures.
Among those who signed are Cromwell College pupils Ruby and Lucy Reid (both 16), who believe the change will negatively affect pupils.
Lucy said the change would really affect pupils who had organised work for the summer, especially if saving money for university next year.
The extra time would be ‘‘no help at all’’.
The original time schedule was well balanced and left a good amount of time before exams.
The extra two weeks of class would drag on and sap pupils’ energy before exams came, she said.
It would make more sense to take advantage of the existing study leave time to catch up on learning.
Ruby said the change was aggravating and it did not feel like pupils had been consulted on the issue.
She acknowledged there would be benefits for the teachers, although pupils should have been included in the conversation.
All of the pupils she had spoken to disagreed with the decision.
She believed it would be far more beneficial for pupils to bring back learning recognition credits, which NZQA gave out last year.
For every five credits a pupil achieved they earned one additional learning recognition credit up to a maximum of 10 at level 1 or eight at levels 2 and 3.
Ruby said learning recognition credits helped her a lot and she would not have passed last year without them.