B.C.-wide Grade 12 test error could dash teen’s military dreams, mom worries

Callum, 18, is still waiting on transcripts to be secure his admission into the Royal Military College

Callum Illot, 18, is waiting on his B.C. school transcripts to secure his admission into the Royal Military College. (Jane Illot)

A Langley mom is worried about her son’s schooling after a “tabulation anomaly” has left B.C. students with transcripts that are either incorrect, or late.

Jane Ilott’s son Callum graduated from Walnut Grove Secondary in June with hopes of realizing a nearly decade-long dream of joining the military.

Now, the 18-year-old, who is in Quebec before before heading to Kingston, Ont., is waiting for school transcripts that would secure his admission to the Royal Military College.

“The one thing with the military you need your transcript in hand,” Ilott said.

“If he arrives at the Royal Military College without it in hand, I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen.”

READ MORE: B.C. Grade 12s issued incorrect marks, final exam results in ‘tabulation anomaly’

Ilott had already been stressed out about how late B.C. distributes their school transcripts. She called the education ministry and was told they would only be released on Monday, June 29.

For many students, what the B.C. government is calling a “tabulation anomaly” means that their grades are much lower than they should be, leaving many scrambling to explain these errors to their post-secondary institutions.

Callum’s grades were lower than Ilott expected, but she’s more concerned that the mixup might mean Callum won’t have his transcripts in hand by the time he deploys to Kingston, Ont., for college next weekend.

“He’s waiting to show the Royal Military College that yes, he has passed Grade 12, he has passed these exams. They don’t have these exams in Ontario,” Ilott said.

“I can’t really see that they’re going to be incredibly patient getting his transcript.”

Michelle Davidson-Yee, whose daughter, Elisha, 17, graduated from Earl Marriott Secondary in south Surrey, heard about the snafu on the evening news, so she was ready when she went to check the transcript website.

“She was at 90 for the school year, but got a 50 on the exam,” she said. “I don’t think that’s possible!”

Davidson-Yee, who will take her daughter to Bishop’s University in Quebec this fall for its liberal arts program, said she wonders why the ministry, district or school didn’t alert students or parents directly.

“It has affected the students a lot,” she said. “She did have a friend who was out of country, and she came back and saw her marks, and apparently [there was] crying all morning until they figured out.”

Later on, the education ministry sent an email to Black Press Media saying staff have resolved the issue and that the revised transcripts would be posted that day.

Despite that, Ilott is worried.

“It was going to be a stretch before, pretty sure he won’t get the printed copy on time,” she said.

In a statement, the province said they were working to contact post-secondary institutions across Canada. The education ministry did not return a request for comment on whether they had contacted the Royal Military College, or when students would get their updated hard-copy transcripts.

Callum has been dreaming of joining the military since he was 11, Ilott said.

“If he was delayed by a year? Oh my goodness, I can’t even imagine.”

But although Ilott is up to date on what’s happening with the Grade 12 grades, she’s upset that, as the mom of a high school senior, she was never contacted.

Ilott only found out about the problem through a news alert on her husband’s phone.

“The only thing I saw this morning, and that’s because I went looking for it, is that the school board did post something on Twitter,” she said.

“But I have not heard anything from our school. You would think they would have at least contacted the Grade 12 parents… this is huge.”

– with a file from Laura Baziuk


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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