I don't think delaying the assessments will help with learning, there needs to be markers to assess students' progress, and the impending assessment incentivises students to study and learn. In saying that, I think open book tests, or internal assessments rather than exams are more useful because they replicate real life situations, and don't unfairly disadvantage students who suffer from anxiety related illnesses and don't cope with exams (which can test memory more than intellectual understanding anyway).
I also am often embarrassed with our education system when talking with European counterparts (who can often speak three languages fluently by the age of 17).
I would leave NCEA and adopt the Cambridge system from the UK, some private schools in NZ use this. I think it is more advanced than NCEA, and challenges students to a deeper level of critical thinking. I think it also rewards and equips students with a more in-depth and academic experience moving forwards on to either university or working after High School.
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