High school entrance exam results suspended after serious miscalculation
The situation of the students remains in limbo until a final decision is made on how a possible suspension of the exam results will be implemented. HÜRRİYET photoAn administrative court has ordered a stay of execution for last year’s high school entrance exam results, which caused a huge scandal after the Education Ministry admitted that the results of 718 students had been wrongly assessed due to a calculation error.
The ruling affects more than 1.1 million students who took the nationwide exam known as the SBS in June 2013, as a possible reassessment will likely mean that they might have to change the schools in which they enrolled in September almost six months after the start of the academic year due to the flawed grading.
The court said in its decision that even the smallest mistake had the potential to negatively affect many of the 1,112,604 students who passed the exam. The mistake was discovered after parents had claimed that the French- and German-language tests had been wrongly calculated based on their own evaluations after the exam.
Following the outcry, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aydın Apaydın filed a collective complaint on behalf of the students who were subject to the miscalculation.
'Why now?' minister asks
The Education Ministry, meanwhile said it planned to appeal the decision, assuring that the recalculations after the mistake was discovered were made “with all the necessary measures to prevent any unjust treatment.”
Commenting on the court’s decision, Education Minister Nabi Avcı has ruled out that students might have to change schools, questioning the timing of the verdict.
“When did we file an objection to the court? On August 1, 2013. August, September and October have passed, tests were held in November. December passed and the decision comes as only 10 days remain to the semester holiday,” Avcı said, adding that a stay of execution decision could have been given before the start of the academic year.
“May our kids feel at ease, I can already say that not one of our children or their parents will face any unjust treatment. Something like sending our children to any other school is out of the question,” he added.
However, the court stated in its decision that even though the ministry’s claim that the number of the students ultimately affected by the mistake was small might be right, that would not remove the legal violation in the case.
The ministry has one week to file an objection to a regional appeals court, before that the case goes to the State Council. The situation of the students remains in limbo until a final decision is made on how a possible suspension of the exam results will be implemented.
The SBS controversy was not the first nationwide exam scandal as in 2011 the university entrance exams were marred by allegations that a code could be used to crack all the answers.