Computer problems meant that the written exam in Norwegian was cancelled at upper secondary schools in Møre and Romsdal. Viken refused to cancel.

As reported by NTB through Snorre Schjønberg and Ole Henrik Tveten.

The written exam started on Monday morning, but computer problems meant that some could not submit their answers. There were problems with the Directorate of Education’s pages throughout the country.

We understand that students have had a difficult start to their exams because of this problem. We apologise for that in the strongest possible terms, says director Morten Rosenkvist in the Directorate of Education to NTB.

They state that there are large and complex technical systems all of which have been tested in advance. Everything had worked, but on Monday an unforeseen technical error occurred.

This was the first exam for over 270,000 students after the closures linked to covid-19 started.

It is hugely problematic that the Directorate of Education’s website crashes on such a big day for many students, says incoming leader of the Student Organization, Petter Andreas Lona, to NTB.

If the computer systems do not improve, one should look at whether the written exam can be held at all this year, says Lona.

The county council in Møre og Romsdal had local network problems which meant that the students could not get online, writes NRK. As a result, the digital exam had to be cancelled.

Something like this would not have happened if the students completed written exams with pen and paper.

Possible problems were forewarned in advance, due to several previous computer problems.

This is a crisis for the students. We pointed out that there should have been a plan B, but were not listened to, says Thom Jambak, central board member of the Education Association, to NTB.

Jambak says that for them it seems as if the change to the exam has consisted of digitalisation and that the academic and practical aspects have been forgotten.

He says that this could have consequences for admission to higher education for the students who are affected.

The leader of the Norwegian Association of Lecturers, Helle Christin Nyhuus, takes the situation very seriously, according to VG.

This is a predicted disaster. We have reported to the Norwegian Directorate of Education and the Ministry of Education several times that the digital system in the counties is not up to par. We have also been very clear to Udir that they must have a backup solution: They must have paper versions of the assignments.

Perhaps it is time to do something about this data focus in schools. Of course, it is useful to learn how to use a PC or an iPad.

But an exam in maths, history or Norwegian should be completed in the classic way, with pen and paper. That this happens when students are about to take their first exam in several years is nothing less than a scandal.

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