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Diplomas with seals from wrong elementary school given to 553 graduates in west Japan

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AMAGASAKI, Hyogo -- A municipal elementary school in this western Japan city gave diplomas with seals from a different school to 553 graduates between the 2018 and 2021 academic years, the city's board of education announced on March 29.

    Officials at the education board said that they intend to visit the homes of the graduates to apologize and to give them the correct certificates.

    According the board's school education division, the mishap came to light after a student at the school noticed the error after a graduation ceremony on March 18. Two of the three seals on the certificate were from another elementary school.

    The municipal education board issues graduation certificates to schools in the same format, and the names of the principal and student, as well as seals are added at each school. This particular school was printing digitized seals using a school affairs assistance system, which has been introduced at all elementary and junior high schools in the city since the 2018 academic year. It is believed that during a training session to print and make certificates using the system that academic year, sample seal data from another elementary school was used. One official seal stamped manually was correct.

    The name of the school printed is different from the real one by just one character. Though two principals and sixth-grade teachers in those academic years checked the graduation certificates, they apparently did not notice the error.

    An official at the education board said, "We'll provide instructions on the creation of official documents and the appropriate use of official seals, and strive to prevent a recurrence."

    (Japanese original by Sanae Kameda, Hanshin Bureau)

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