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GATE crashing

Monday, February 24, 2014

There’s a good idea at the core of the newly introduced GATE e-service. The project is a sensible effort at moving the workload of registering students and monitoring their progress—and the possible lack of it—through software. According to the service’s log-in page, students “will be able to access GATE Programme through online application submission anytime and anywhere…(and) manage their applications as well as enquire for the current status of the application submitted.”


On the introduction of the new electronic service, students were met instead by an ongoing collapse of the system. Applicants trying to use the electronic service were met by 503 errors, indicating that the service was unavailable, an indicator that the software might not have been properly tested for the sustained use of its formal introduction. Some insiders claim that the system, said to be designed by a Singaporean firm, was glitchy right from the start.


Such allegations certainly bear investigation in a post-mortem of the failures that accompanied the introduction of the system, but UWI did the right thing in extending the deadline for registration by three weeks, acknowledging the startup problems and offering students a chance to be better prepared for the new process.