Anna Reynolds, who graduated from Cowichan Secondary School in June, fears that her application to go to Vancouver Island University in the fall could be affected by the Ministry of Education’s mistakes on students transcripts. (Submitted photo)

Grade 12 transcript errors causing anxiety for some Cowichan students

Ministry of Education says problem has been fixed

Anna Reynolds hopes Vancouver Island University considers her revised Grade 12 transcripts before deciding whether to let her enter the school’s digital media studies program.

Reynolds, who just graduated from Cowichan Secondary School in June, is one of approximately 32,000 Grade 12 students in B.C. who wrote provincial exams in a number of courses, including Communications 12, English First Peoples 12, English 12 and French Language Arts 12, on June 22 and 23 that have had errors on their final transcripts from the Ministry of Education.

RELATED STORY: ‘HUMAN ERROR’ CAUSED MISTAKES IN 32,000 B.C. GRADE 12 TRANSCRIPTS: EDUCATION MINISTER

The issue with final grades was discovered on July 29 after schools contacted the education ministry asking about marks that seemed to be incorrect.

Reynolds said one of the main criteria VIU considers when deciding if applicants can get into the digital media studies program is what marks they received in English 12.

She said when she looked at her transcripts online on July 31, she was dismayed to find that she had received 67 per cent in the course, much lower than she anticipated.

But the ministry had changed the mark to 72 per cent after correcting the error on Aug. 1.

Reynolds is now wondering if VIU is considering her application with a 67 per cent in English 12 or 72 per cent, which could make a big difference.

“I would have thought that (the ministry) would have been responsible enough to have a system where students like me would not get screwed over,” she said.

“We are young people who have no power of influence over these situations, so when things like this happen, we tend to freak out. I understand that this is a technical screw up, and that can be expected at times, but this is a big mistake.”

RELATED STORY: B.C.- WIDE GRADE 12 TEST ERROR COULD DASH TEEN’S MILITARY DREAMS, MOM WORRIES

Minister of Education Rob Fleming said in a statement that the transcript issue has been resolved.

He said that immediately after the mistake was discovered, the ministry contacted all post-secondary institutions in Canada and National Collegiate Athletic Associations institutions in the United States to ensure that no student applications for the fall would be affected.

Fleming said the correct grades are being communicated directly to post-secondary institutions.

Fred Jacklin, the registrar at VIU, acknowledged that the university’s registration department has been working with the ministry to ensure students aren’t negatively impacted by the student transcript issue.

“The issue has been fully resolved and I am confident in saying no VIU students will be negatively affected,” he said.

“If students are still worried and want to check on their application status, they can call registration at 250-740-6400 or email registration@viu.ca.”

Fleming confirmed that other post-secondary institutions have also stated they will ensure the error in data reporting won’t negatively impact any incoming students.

He said the investigation into the transcript issue discovered that human error caused the incident when data was being manually transferred between systems.

RELATED STORY: EDUCATION MINISTRY SAYS ‘TABULATION ANOMALY’ IN B.C. GRADE 12 MARKS FIXED

“When the issue was first discovered, I immediately directed ministry staff to work around the clock to identify and fix the issue,” Fleming said.

He said ministry staff have now checked the updated results for accuracy, and system checks and manual spot checks of results at every stage of the process have now confirmed their accuracy.

“I am confident that students and families can now know their grades are correct,” Fleming said.

“I know this has caused anxiety for students and their families, and I want to assure them that this will not have an impact on admission to colleges and universities.”

Mike Russell, a spokesman for the Cowichan Valley school district, said the district is very grateful to the ministry for correcting the problem so quickly.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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