In early 2020, the Ministry of Education issued a Provisional Subject List for NCEA Level 1. The list is one of several steps towards the development of a broad based foundational NCEA Level 1 curriculum. The list forms part of a larger review, as outlined in the NCEA Change Package announced in May 2019.
Our submission focuses solely on the Ministry’s proposal to merge current subjects Accounting, Economics and Business Studies into a single subject provisionally named Commerce.
We agree that a broad-based foundational curriculum for NCEA level 1 is desirable. It seems logical and reasonable to consolidate closely related NCEA level 1 subjects such as Accounting, Economics and Business Studies. However, we disagree with the Ministry’s intention to remove much of the Accounting content from the combined subject “due to the practical constraints of the subject and the ability to access the subject directly at Level 2 in most settings”.
Firstly, it is unclear to us what the practical constraints preclude the inclusion of Accounting in the NCEA Level 1 curriculum are. Also, there is a very low likelihood that students not engaged in a subject at NCEA level 1 will go on to engage in that subject during NCEA level 2. This calls into question the second part of the Ministry’s justification for the proposed absence of accounting content in NCEA level 1, being that it is included as a subject in NCEA level 2.
As opposed to removing Accounting from the NCEA Level 1 syllabus, we believe the review of NCEA presents a great opportunity to update the syllabus to make the Accounting content more relevant and engaging to students.
Familiarity with accounting concepts and having the ability to navigate interpret and analyse a set of basic financial statements are the building blocks of an education in accounting. However, these skills are also fundamental to basic financial capability which are essential skills for students as members of society and consumers of financial services.