Some Nunavut students denied post-secondary admission due to late transcripts, says MLA

The issue is being dealt with, Education Minister Pamela Gross said, and came about in part due to the government's outdated information systems.

Transcripts have now been sent out, says Nunavut's education minister

Iqaluit-Tasiluk MLA George Hickes said he's heard from students who didn't get into their post-secondary programs because of delayed or incomplete transcripts. (Beth Brown/CBC)

Late and incomplete transcripts have kept some Nunavut students from being able to enrol in post-secondary studies, says Iqaluit-Tasiluk MLA George Hickes.

Hickes questioned Education Minister Pamela Gross about the delays in the Nunavut Legislature on Friday. He said this is the second year that this has happened — and he knows of some students who still haven't received the transcripts they requested last year.

The issue is being dealt with, Gross said, and came about in part due to the government's outdated information systems. In January, the Department of Education overhauled its student information system, but there were some programming issues that contributed to the transcript delay.

"The system was switched over this past year and we're working as hard as we can to ensure that students do not go through unforeseen circumstances," she said, according to an official record from the Legislative Assembly.

She said the department mailed or emailed all the transcripts that had been requested on Feb. 16.

Hickes said he knows of one student who had three post-secondary applications in a row denied because of incomplete transcripts.

"I am aware of a number of students being impacted by this that also resulted in them being ineligible for admissions or even applying for courses that were not their first choice," he said, noting that costs students $100 or more in non-refundable application fees.

"Parents are extremely concerned about the timeliness and accuracy of their children's transcripts."

Nunavut Education Minister Pamela Gross says her department sent out over 1,000 transcripts in February. (Matisse Harvey/Radio-Canada)

Gross said her department printed and sent out over 1,000 transcripts this year. She said anyone who still hasn't received their transcript should email or call Financial Assistance for Nunavut Students (FANS), or email herself or the Department of Education.

"These escalated files are top priority," she said.

Barriers to education

Between delayed transcripts and delayed student funding, Hickes said post-secondary students are facing barriers to completing their education.

"We all know students can face many hurdles trying to access post-secondary studies, and I think we can all agree that the government — specifically the Department of Education — should not be one of them," he said.

In January, Gross committed to a review of the FANS program. The review comes after delayed payments forced some students to go hungry and jeopardized other students' studies.

"It's unfortunate that that did happen, and there are different circumstances for each person who may have had issues with their FANS," she said Friday.

"With this review and hopefully a new FANS database and program, we will see significant improvements to the FANS system."