School computer test no longer compulsory In Northern Ireland after technical problems

Computer-based literacy and numeracy tests used by primary schools in Northern Ireland will no longer be compulsory following a series of technical glitches, it has been revealed. This is from the Belfast Telegraph…

Some results of literacy assessments from thousands of pupils used by schools to see how they compared to other schools and other areas were wrong, it emerged earlier this year.

Education Minister John O’Dowd announced that schools would not be compelled to complete the evaluations next autumn but could do so voluntarily using software from a range of providers. Last autumn a number of schools reported difficulties in using the programmes, with some teachers feeling under pressure and pupils distressed, the minister told the Assembly.

“In moving forward I am determined to recognise and learn from the mistakes of the past and not to replicate them,” he said. He announced a further independent review into what happened last year.

The problem concerned tests taken by 88,000 pupils in P4 and P7 across Northern Ireland last autumn, which were hit by computer glitches.

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