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Gambling part of NZ curriculum

5/25/2003 (The Star Online) AUCKLAND: Casino gambling, gunsmithing and how to use a chainsaw are among some of the subjects New Zealand high school and tertiary students can study, raising concerns among critics, local press reported yesterday.

The latest course National Certificate of Educational Achievement authorities are considering introducing is in rugby refereeing.

They have already approved the study of kapa haka – a traditional Maori war dance.

One high-profile secondary school principal slammed as “ludicrous” the proliferation of subjects available in secondary schools.

“What do all these qualifications mean?” Auckland Grammar headmaster John Morris, who is also chairman of lobby group Education Forum, asked.

“I just think we’re short-changing our kids by offering that sort of thing,” he told yesterday’s Dominion Post.

“Schools are there to educate. Reading, writing and maths – what’s happening is that those subjects are being demeaned by how to operate a chainsaw. It’s play-way education … I honestly just cringe and worry about our education system where everybody passes and everybody does well.”

Since the introduction in 1998 of a new national secondary school qualification, many new subjects have been on offer.…

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