EQAO to issue next literacy test on paper after cyberattack

Toronto – The next province-wide literacy test for Ontario high school students will be administered on paper, after an online trial last time was hit with a cyberattack.

In October, the agency that runs the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test was forced to cancel an online trial run due to technical glitches, later determined to be a distributed denial of service attack.

Most of the province’s 900 secondary schools – representing a maximum of 147,000 students – had signed up to participate in the online test, and only about 15,000 students managed to complete it.

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) had wanted to move the next test, set for March, online, but it has now decided “it would be irresponsible to put students at risk of any further issues without having completed a successful large-scale online trial.”

Education Minister Mitzie Hunter says this is the best solution, and she will need to be assured by EQAO that necessary technical and security issues have been addressed before the test moves back online.

Investigations into the cyberattack are ongoing and will lead to recommendations with respect to additional system security measures.

The Canadian Press

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