Irish News

Sunday 21 September 2014

Tests completed after IT glitch

Published 10/12/2012 | 17:29

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John O'Dowd told the Assembly 90 per cent of those affected by the IT hiccup had finished the numeracy and literacy assessment

Almost all of schools have completed the computer-based tests which were hit by a technical glitch, Northern Ireland's Education Minister has revealed.

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John O'Dowd told the Assembly 90% of those affected by the IT hiccup had finished the numeracy and literacy assessment.

But, speaking during Question Time, Mr O'Dowd also revealed there were further technical issues last month.

He said: "I understand that following successful overnight updates to the network a small number of schools encountered problems in accessing computer-based literacy assessment on November 28 and 29.

"This was due to planned upgrades on the education network and was not an issue specific to computer-based assessments. Once reported the technical problems were rectified within a couple of hours. I have been assured that schools can now continue with the assessment and that checks have been put in place to reduce the risk of these incidents."

Northgate, the firm which runs the schools C2K computer network, introduced the online tests to 900 primary schools in September.

However, up to 400 schools experienced trouble logging on, connectivity issues or reported computers freezing.

Sydney Anderson, DUP MLA, said the IT problems had impacted on pupils and teachers.

He said: "When computer problems do arise when doing an assessment it can be very stressful for pupils and to their teachers.

"It is vital to ensure that the problems are resolved quickly and effectively and that the IT systems in place are up to the task."

Press Association

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