PEP peeved

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PEP peeved

Online circus of errors creates jitters among parents ahead of placement results

BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT
Senior staff reporter
hibbertk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, June 26, 2020

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PARENTS of grade six students are fuming as a result of incorrect information disseminated by the Ministry of Education regarding the portal on which they should have registered on Wednesday in order to access the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) placement results at 4:00 pm today.

On Wednesday, acting Chief Education Officer Dr Kasan Troupe told JIS News that the special parent portal, called the DEAMS Performance Information System (DPIS), could be accessed via the link www.parent.dpisonline.com as of 5:00 pm that evening.

The purpose of accessing the portal on Wednesday was to register and change the password to ensure privacy when the results became available.

But, at the time the portal was slated to go live, parents faced a roadblock as the url: www.parent.dpisonline.com was still invalid.

“Mi a stress, cause right now I'm trying to get on to register and the site that was to open at 5:00 pm nah function,” Natalie Roberts said. “This nuh mek no sense. Come on, you are telling us that we need to log on at 5:00 pm. You give out letters to the parents and tell us to register, and this is not working. This is sloppy bad, bad, bad. This is foolishness.”

As some parents struggled to figure out their next move, others, who entered a seemingly incorrect website address, got access.

Instead of www.parent.dpisonline.com as was promoted to the media and indicated in the letter sent to parents, the correct website was www.parents.dpisonline.com. The difference being the letter 's'.

This further angered parents.

“I was typing in what they sent me, which is 'parent'... So just up to chance someone added an 's' to 'parent' and got to the correct site? One letter makes a huge difference and dem nuh realise dat neither? Dem people yah a joker,” Roberts said.

“I got an official letter from the ministry, through my son's school, that said parent.dpisonline.com. Everyone got the same address, and you're there all night trying, only for you to get a WhatsApp message saying add an 's' to parent and you should get on. Why hasn't the Ministry of Education corrected this through the media or even on their website?” Nicole Armstrong said.

On accessing the correct portal, parents were again set back, as to complete the registration and change the password, for security purposes, an activation code was required. However, when parents selected whether they wanted the code sent to their phones or e-mail they sat waiting for hours without receiving a code.

“When I logged on I typed in the information given in the letter and kept being told invalid username and password combination. I kept trying and nothing. They have an online chat and from when I sent the information in it... I have not received a response.

“I requested the activation code the site requires via phone and I still haven't received it,” Roberts said.

“I have signed up, but I don't even know if it was registered, because I have been waiting on the activation code since last night [Wednesday]. Some people say they have got theirs, others like myself still have not received it,” another parent said yesterday

Up to press time, the issue was slowly being resolved as parents informed the Jamaica Observer that they had either got through or knew individuals who had been able to complete the registration process.

“I tried again Thursday afternoon and I got through, but I had to wait for a while, too, and even got a message saying the site is under maintenance and I can register on Friday as the results will not be ready until 4:00 pm,” one parent said.

“My friend and a number of parents from my child's school got their activation code, but I am still waiting on mine. I changed my e-mail address and still nothing. But I got a message in the online chat saying I have until Friday to register, as the results will be ready after 4:00 pm. It seems like the website dances. This minute it's up, the other it's down. I will just keep trying,” Francine Brown said.

Meanwhile, the parents had a different suggestion for the education ministry in relation to the release of the placement results.

“Each student has a SRN [student registration number] that only parents have access to. I would have felt better if the numbers were published in the newspaper with the placements,” Roberts said.

Brown agreed with the suggestion of newspaper placement, but also chided the way in which the letters with the online log-in details were sent to parents.

“The whole idea is to preserve privacy. I got a PDF document with over 200 pages that was sent in my child's class group. I could see the details of every single grade six student. Every single one. Yes, you get the opportunity to change it, but what if I didn't? You're telling me 'nosey Susan' could then look for my child's name and log in and look for herself? The teachers couldn't sit down and separate the letters?” Brown asked.

The Ministry of Education yesterday assured parents that the system had been stress-tested to ensure it stands up to the flood of parents and guardians who would access it at 4:00 pm today.

The ministry also advised that both the initial released url — parent.dpisonline.com — as well as parents.dpisonline.com can be used to access the portal.

Acknowledging the challenges parents had experienced registering on the portal, the ministry said in a release yesterday that the issues are being addressed and would not affect the release of results today. It also said student scores and placement for the PEP will also be available at primary level schools today at 2:00 pm.


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