In an attempt to strengthen the National Certificate of Achievement Program, the Department of Education is amending the NCEA Level 1 subjects available to students.
The number of subjects will be reduced from 42 to 32.
This would provide a broader base at the start of the NCEA that would allow for more learning paths, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said last December.
Among the changes is the elimination of studies in economics, accounting and commerce in favor of a single subject called commerce.
A petition with more than 1,800 signatures was presented to National Party MP Todd McClay last Thursday, urging the government to reconsider removing the topics.
New Zealand Commerce and Economics Teachers Association (Ceta) executive director Tod Carter-Scott said there was no good reason to merge the three subjects.
All three individual topics were essential for young New Zealanders, she said.
Accounting taught financial literacy, which was weak nationally, and economics taught students how the country operated.
New Zealand was made up of small businesses, which made business studies vital.
Simplifying these subjects into a hybrid course would set students back in all three areas.
“You can’t put three separate topics into one, it just doesn’t work.”
The terminology between the three topics often had different definitions which were in conflict.
Trying to accommodate these differences would confuse students and make it difficult for students entering Level 2, she said.
Ms Carter-Scott said there are many other independent specialist subjects at Level 1, such as dance and drama.
Accounting, economics and business studies had higher enrollment rates than many other specialist subjects.
It didn’t make sense to remove the most popular classes, she said.
She hoped the ministry would reconsider its decision.
The changes are expected to be piloted next year and offered nationwide in 2023.