New Zealand Latin and Classics Under Threat

The NZ Government wants to abolish Latin at each of the senior levels and merge Classics with History at Level 1.

This Facebook link will help keep you up to date:

Please help, by making a submission via this consultation:

From those spear-heading this charge:

What can you do to help? The first thing you can do is to write a submission to the Ministry of Education through the link below. *Remember,* Classics is being cut at Level 1, but Latin is being cut at ALL levels.

There are 7 criteria they have cited in making this decision, which you can answer along these lines:

1. NCEA Level 1 is to be ‘broad’ and ‘foundational’ with specialisation at higher levels. We all know that Classics is a multi-disciplinary subject, which introduces students to history, art, literature, philosophy religion and more in one course. We should put this broad nature of the course at the forefront of our submissions. Likewise, Latin is a foundational language for many European languages, but has even wider implications for students’ knowledge of English grammar, writing style and much more.

2. The subject must support ‘important and rich learning’ from the National Curriculum. What you have learned from these subjects will have shown you how rich and important they are.

3. The subject supports coherent and robust pathways into Level 2 and beyond. Both these subjects lead directly into Level 2 and 3 courses, and follow into study at Universities throughout the world. Furthermore, it has deeply historical links to the study of tertiary specialisations like Law, Medicine and Philosophy.

4. The subject should have well-designed local curricula with support pathways for individual learners. The curricula for Latin and Classics are well established, and pathways are clear.

5. Consideration of demand for the subject and capability to deliver it. Currently, many schools have not yet introduced Level 1 Classics as it was only recently added. There is certainly more demand from students and teachers than is able to be realised because of this. Likewise, there are more Latin teachers than schools which offer Latin so there is no lack of teachers to deliver the subject.

6. The subject should support the Crown’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi. These obligations extend to protecting and upholding the cultures of both partners to the Treaty, especially the cultural heritage and languages that have been integral to their development.

7. The subject should support the credibility of NCEA, including internationally. This is certainly an opportunity for you to make it clear how damaging these cuts would be to the reputation of NCEA. If New Zealand were to lose Latin, we would be the only English-speaking country in the world not to offer it to school students. The more submissions we make, the clearer the credibility issue will become.