A government compensation fund has opened and is now accepting applications online for students who can demonstrate losses or expenses that were caused by a Grade 12 exam tabulation error back in June 2019.
In a release issued on Monday, the Ministry of Education said that in addition to the compensation, thousands of apology letters were being written and sent to students who had exam marks affected by human error.
In 2019, of the nearly 32,000 exams written during the June 2019 session, the results posted for 18,741 exams were incorrect.
When the ministry posted updated results, 9,946 of the exams received a higher mark and 8,795 received a lower mark than initially posted, according to the report.
The ombudsperson, Jay Chalke, started an investigation into the ministry’s response to the tabulation error because of concerns about how individual students were impacted.
The investigation found that some students may have had applications declined by post-secondary institutions due to incorrect transcripts caused by the error.
Following an investigation, the Office of the Ombudsperson released a report in August 2020 and compensation and apologies were the final two recommendations to be fulfilled from a list of six.
The ministry says it has already implemented the other four recommendations, relating to processes and protocols for quality assurance, escalation of issues and communication protocols.
Individual students who were impacted by the government’s gaffe can apply for compensation online.
“The ministry has worked to establish a fair and transparent process for receiving, reviewing and determining compensation claims,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Education, outlining that an independent third party will provide adjudication services for the funds.
Applicants will be notified of claim decisions and the reasons for claim acceptance or denial. There will also be a detailed process for appeal.
The compensation program launched on Monday, March 1 and claim submissions and adjudication will take place between March 1 to May 24.
Compensation will be issued for validated claims by August 2021, according to the government.