"When you know you will pass anyway, why study? And after you have 80 credits there is no motivation to do better."
OK, the realisation that you can get through your education by putting in the minimum required effort is not a new one. The phrase "C's get degrees" has been around a lot longer than NCEA, so I don't see why this "there's no incentive to do more than just pass" stuff is news -- surely the motivation to get an Excellence instead of an Acheived is the same as the motivation to get an A instead of a C (or 90% instead of 55%)? You don't do it because you have to, you do it because you have a bit of pride in your work*. (Well, I did.) The attitude that all you have to do is pass says more to me about the students expressing it than it does the system.
Now, this isn't to say that there aren't some legitimate issues here:
- If the real complaint is that the minimum requirement is too low, then fine -- that would warrant fixing. I wouldn't have a clue if this is the case or not -- Jack could probably shed some light.
- Furthermore, if what these complaints are really highlighting is the fact that getting an Excellence or a Merit isn't valued by students, it would be worthwhile asking why. If this is the case, though, it suggests more of a cultural issue (as in the culture of education) than a systemic one.
- It's also possible that the way things are presented to students makes this realisation easier to come by, so even the ones who are a bit thick catch on.
* And then there are the potential issues of a prospective employer looking over your grades, and higher minimum requirements for getting into certain courses at university/tech, so there is a bit of self-interested motivation there, too.