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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Feb. 12, 2008) - Education authorities yesterday remained tight-lipped about claims of discrepancies in students’ 2007 Grade 12 marks.

Hundreds of students throughout the country missed out on further tertiary education because of incorrect presentation of Grade 12 results in the 2007 Higher Education Certificate, resulting in them missing selection to higher education institutions.

The dilemma also included students being marked down for fields they did not apply for. Instead they were sent to those the education officers thought they were eligible for.

The controversy has been simmering for three weeks and the Education offices are still pointing fingers as to who is at fault. Last week, the Office of Higher Education issued a statement saying it was not their fault but the Measurement Services Unit that was responsible for assessments.

This week, another educationist Brother Andrew Simpson from the Divine Word University pointed out that errors made in the compilation of the 2007 Higher School results were widespread and resulted in many students receiving incorrect grades.

"While many of these students have had their certificates corrected, they have also been disadvantaged because their results were not available at the correct time for universities and college selection. As a result many have missed out on selection for higher education for 2008," Andrew said.

The Office of High Education (OHE) has copped criticism from numerous parents and students on where to turn to in their dilemma.

The Post-Courier has been asking for responses on the issue since last week. On Monday when the MSU was contacted by phone and in person they said: "We are not sanctioned to say anything about this. Anything official will come from the Secretary’s office."

They admitted there were problems but could not elaborate. It is understood that this matter was the topic of discussion between the Secretary Dr. Joseph Pagelio and heads of divisions concerned in a meeting yesterday.

According to previous reports, there have been many instances where students with high average score, were shocked to find their marks had been altered or they were given an institution which was neither their preference nor liking.

A concerned parent who wanted to remain anonymous said, "I know of a boy who has been a straight A student through all his schooling, only to find out that his marks were different to the ones in MSU archives. What is going on?"

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