Students demand 20 mln won each in compensation after ending bell rang earlier by mistake during CSAT

SEOUL, Dozens of students filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking compensation from the government after the ending bell in last month's college entrance exam rang 1 1/2 minutes earlier than scheduled by mistake at a test site in Seoul.

The 39 students lodged the suit with the Seoul Central District Court, demanding 20 million won (US$15,296) per person in compensation from the state, according to the law firm Myungjin, representing the students.

At the test site set up at Seoul's Kyungdong High School, the bell notifying the end of the first Korean session during the Nov. 16 state-administered exam rang 90 seconds earlier than scheduled, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.

The accident happened as the teacher in charge clicked the alarm earlier by mistake. Many schools manually sound the alarm during the annual College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) due to concerns of broadcasting system errors in the automatic system.

After realizing the mistake, the school gave the test papers back to the students during lunchtime and allowed them to solve problems and mark answers for 90 seconds but would not allow them to change already marked answers.

The students, however, claimed they could not fully engage in the test due to the incident, and the retesting took up half of their lunch time, which disadvantaged them in the following test sessions. Some reportedly gave up on the exam and returned home.

The law firm said education authorities have not offered any words of apology or explanations or taken measures to prevent similar incidents from happening again, even though more than a month has passed since the accident.

It also claimed the teacher in charge of ringing the bell used a private device instead of the state-designated clock.

In 2020, a similar incident happened at a test site at DeokWon Girl's High School in Seoul.

Test-takers and their parents filed a suit against the state and the Seoul city government, asking for compensation of 8 million won per student, after the bell rang three minutes earlier during the national college entrance exam.

Source: Yonhap News Agency