NCEA outage kept to a minimum

Back-up procedures ensure email and data outage has no impact

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority was a classic example of the good news, bad news syndrome last week.

First the bad news. On day two of the controversial National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) exams, the IT system went down. Just what NZQA didn’t need after all the criticism last year of NCEA, which led to the resignation of two top executives.

The good news was it was only a primary fuse that had blown after a component failure. Although the email was out for the morning, no data was lost and, in fact, the back-up procedures worked well because there was no effect on external systems.

But there’s always a joker in the pack. As staff met the following day to review the situation and congratulate themselves that everything had worked as planned, someone turned off the lights on the floor. The staff levitated ... till they realised it was a prank.

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