I got a record (not that impressive but when you think of the number of comments I receive on this blog then you'd think so too!) 9 comments for my last comment on politics and other things, so maybe I should post more on that... Thanks to those of you who have commented and keep it coming, even if you disagree with what I say, as I like to debate a lot of things!
Anyway Schapelle Corby has been hitting the news a lot lately. Twenty years for bringing marijuana into the country seems quite harsh, compared to what you'd get in New Zealand. To put it into perspective, Antonie Dixon, the man who cut off his girlfriend's hand with a samurai sword, attacked his ex-girlfriend, shot a random man just for being Maori, held another man hostage to get the police's attention, received 20 years as well. Do we need to bring back capital punishment? In fact as Dixon was led out of the courtroom, he shouted out
"Bring back the electric chair!"
All these different possible reasons behind why Corby could be guilty or innocent is starting to have me confused. At first when I read the news about her sentence, the judge claimed it was because Corby admitted the drugs were hers. However there are other claims that the drugs had been smuggled into her baggage by baggage handlers. I didn't hear of the latter claim and so I was adament Corby was guilty. If she admitted the drugs were hers, how could she not know how they got in her own luggage? But after watching the news, I guess the overwhelming display of emotions probably got the better of me, and made me feel sorry for her. I wonder if this was genuine or just an act? The judge certainly didn't feel moved by the display, and even criticised the lawyers for crying as well! Now we see the Aussie backlash, and the Australian government doing all it can to help. Let's just hope it doesn't escalate to a diplomatic disaster.
If anyone knows more about this story feel free to post a comment and let me know.
This new Colmar Brunton survey commissioned by The Maxim Institute (which I may add are a right-leaning organisation) shows overwhelmingly that parents don't have faith in NCEA. ACT have jumped on the bandwagon, using this survey as proof why NCEA should be dumped, allowing schools to choose the qualification of their choice to offer. You must remember that this was only a parental survey. Just because parents do not have confidence in NCEA does not necessarily mean it is a bad system, but maybe just misunderstood, and a qualification in need of a bit of fine-tuning. Earlier this year employers and parents complained about not understanding the system. If they actually sit down or even talk to someone who knows about it, they will surely work it out.
By having many different qualifications available to students, how will we compare the nation's students? We have a national qualification, one that is our own. Sure it may not be recognised around the world, but that is because it is only offered in New Zealand and has only been in existence for a few years.
Sure NCEA only really lets students get into New Zealand universities, but that is similar to the system in the USA, where you must sit the SATs to get into an American university. Of course if you do have a universally recognised qualification then you can gain acceptance into any university, but I don't think claiming NCEA isn't recognised around the world can cut it as an argument why NCEA should be dumped. It is no more recognised than the previous Bursary qualification!
With a bit of tweaking over the next few years, NCEA can become an acceptable and challenging school qualification, recognising student achievement where it is deserved.
Congratulations to TVNZ and One News for winning best news programme at this year's Qantas Media Awards! Once again they've proven to be New Zealand's leading television news broadcaster. I've never really thought highly of TV3 and their news and current affairs offering, especially when it is dumbed down and unprofessional to cater for the youth. What is the point of getting two cars to race each other on Campbell Live? Is that current affairs?
The Head of News and Current Affairs at TV3 Mark Jennings criticises TVNZ for nabbing 20/20 off them, and with it the rights to Dateline and other ABC material. This is complete hypocrisy coming from someone from TV3, the station who took The Simpsons and Kath and Kim from TVNZ.
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