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News: Ethiopia exam bureau admits technical failures, promises review, but students remain frustrated, pointing out violent school dropouts leave exam assessment

Thousands of students continued to flock to Addis Ababa National Examinations Office to file complaints

Zechariah Zelalem

Addis Ababa, 17 August – Ministry of Education officials have been trying to appease furious students and parents across the country after the results of over 300,000 students sitting in this year's Class 12 exam were published and showed irregularities, including shocking levels of poor results.

Students across the country have complained about faulty classification in several subjects, especially the Scholastic Aptitude course. A collective failure of majority students in this course is cited as the most obvious example of misclassification.

A communication released on the ministry's official Facebook page acknowledged the errors in assessing exams with Scholastic Aptitude and promised to change them soon. Prior to the release of the statement, Araya Gebregziabher, director of the National Agency for Assessment and Exams Agency (NEAEA), told the state media broadcaster EBC that there was "a scanning error." "We quickly realized there was a problem," he said. "Students who regularly registered results of 60% or 70% do not suddenly get grades of 10%."

The commotion started last weekend when the NEAEA announced that students could access their academic results through its website. Over the next few days, it became clear that something was wrong as grade-school students took 12 to the NEAEA's official Facebook page to complain and demand a review of the test results. For many of the students, the results would have jeopardized their university enrollment and the uncertainty was a source of distress for many. On Wednesday, August 14, hundreds of parents and students gathered at the Ministry of Education headquarters in Addis Ababa and demanded explanations.

Assessment is accomplished using an automated software program that had technical failures, or "misplaced keys," as NEAEA Director Araya Gebregziabher put it. Four days after the results were released, the Ministry of Education admitted the boomer, declaring that the reviews would see upgrades in the results for nearly 150,000 students.

Meseret Abera, a teacher from the southern Ethiopian city of Hossana, made the 230km trip to Addis Ababa to file a complaint on behalf of his son. She was among the crowd gathered outside the NEAEA's building and spoke with the local EthioTimes outlet. “My son has been a top performer all his life. He just got A & # 39; s for his 10thth character examination. I had a hard time believing that he would suddenly receive grades as low as 22%. "

Another parent called for a review of MoE & # 39; s practice. “It is embarrassing to hear that students in a whole country have been subjected to this emotional turmoil due to a machine malfunction. The government must go through the whole process. "

With his office bombarded with complaints from across the country, Education Minister Tilaye Gete Ambaye (PhD) had promised earlier this week to address concerns. "As we receive complaints about your Scholastic Aptitude Test result, the NEAEA will give it another look and return to you," he said via his Twitter account.

As of today, the NEAEA is official
the site has a message explaining the high school seniors who changed the results for their scholastic abilities
exam was posted on its website, but it has so far refused to do so
recognizes that there may be similar flaws in other exams.

So far, there is no word that anyone can be held responsible for the failure that has affected hundreds of thousands of high school students, nor has the NEAEA made it clear whether other exams would be reviewed. However, on social media sites such as Facebook, members of several student groups have continued to submit claims that other topics such as English, math and community exams were also in need of review. Many records also, as is the case, irregular assessment showing results of students who scored 100 in some subjects, have scored shocking results as low as 10 and 20. But the ministry remains adamant that the technical errors occurred only in the classification of Scholastic Aptitude many are obviously not convinced. AS

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