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Print bungle hits all HSC students

Wednesday, 23 January 2019
By Jake Nelson

All 70,000 HSC certificates were printed with the wrong year. (photo from Jihad Dib MP on Twitter)

Every one of the roughly 70,000 NSW students who completed their Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams last year has reportedly received a certificate printed with the wrong date, thanks to a mistake at the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

The certificates were issued with the fine print “Issued by NESA without alteration or erasure on 14th December 2017”. NESA has apologised to students and their parents after the blunder, which Michael Charlton, director of media, said will not affect the validity of the HSC.

“This mistake was caused by human error and we are now working hard to rectify it as quickly as possible. We are currently reprinting replacement certificates which will be sent out to all students as early as possible next week,” he said.

“The Higher School Certificate is a globally recognised qualification and all students in the class of 2018 will receive an accurate certificate to celebrate their achievement. We apologise for any distress or disappointment that this unfortunate error has caused to students and their families.”

Furious: Rob Stokes.

Both sides of politics have excoriated NESA for the misprint, with NSW education minister Rob Stokes expressing his disappointment and vowing the mistake would be fixed immediately.

“As Education Minister, I am furious that the independent authority charged with running the HSC failed to give NSW students the respect their hard work and dedication deserves by getting something as simple as the date right on their certificate.

“I’ve made it clear to NESA that this needs to be corrected immediately and I understand reprinting is already underway,” he said.

His ALP counterpart Jihad Dib told ABC it was a “bungle of epic proportions”, and pointed the blame at the government. “What an incredible disappointment for the 70,000 HSC students to know their achievements count for so little,” he said.

NESA did not detail which company printed the incorrect certificates on its behalf; however, Print21 has been assured that the error was entirely on NESA’s part and the printer was not at fault.

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