Graduates at the ceremony
The District Education Officer for Bain-Garr District in Nimba County has expressed serious disappointment over results of the 2015-2016 national exams administered by the West African Examination Council or WAEC.
Speaking Sunday, 7 August at the 31st Thanksgiving Convocation of the Ganta United Methodist High School or GUMS in Ganta City, DEO J. Lynor Martor said the mass failure is bad news for students across the country, particularly in Nimba.
He said out of the 46,000 candidates that wrote the exams across the country, 16,000 passed successfully, but students from Nimba performed very poorly. DEO Martor disclosed that out of the 28 schools that performed well in the entire exams, only three came from Nimba, but none came from Bain-Garr District.
He said the result is a serious challenge for parents, school administrators, teachers, DEOs and CEOs, among other educational authorities. He urged all stakeholders in the educational sector to do their utmost best in the pending 2016/2017 academic year to improve students’ performance.
Mr. Martor said parents should not blame school administrators or teachers for students’ poor performance, but all parties should get involved in the process of preparing the future leaders of Liberia.
He told reporters at the ceremony that the 150 graduates leaving the Ganta United Methodist High School, only few will have access to WAEC certificates, adding that because of the Ebola crisis, no graduation was held for the 2014/2017 Academic year, which was interrupted.
He said although the graduation ceremony was a happy moment for parents, but not for him as District Education Officer, noting the WAEC result is not a good image for the educational system in Liberia.
DEO Martor said the coming 2016/2017 school year will be totally different, vowing to personally tour all schools in his district. He recently threatened to shut down 21 schools in his district, describing those institutions as fake. According to him, schools in this category lack sitting capacity, playground, and qualified instructors to teach, among other facilities to make learning conducive.
Meanwhile, Nimba County Superintendent Fong G. Zuagele, who served as keynote speaker, urged the graduates to do their best in their future aspirations to make the county, and Liberia pride.
Superintendent Zuagele, who is an alumnus of the school, further urged the graduates not to allow themselves to be fooled by misguided individuals, but help the government to promote peace.
Our correspondent said while the ceremony was ongoing, some of the graduates were busy taking photos for the social media Facebook rather than paying attention to the various speakers.
Reacting to DEO Martor’s frustration over poor performance by students, some teachers at the ceremony complained of low salary and incentive from school administrators as one of the factors responsible for such result.
Some parents told our Nimba correspondent the Ganta United Methodist School has a strict on high school graduates teaching in the classroom, but said mandate they said, is not being observed by the current school principal.
When contacted, the principal of the school Pastor Roger Domah, denied that high school graduates were among his staff, but said some of his teachers are from the Liberia International Christian College with Associate degrees in various disciplines.
The NewDawn gathered the Ganta United Methodist School over the years has had a record of academic excellence, but such standard was declining, particularly under the administration of Pastor Roger Domah, a situation which parents described as high school graduates teaching high school students, but Pastor Domah rejects such claim.
By Franklin Doloquee, Nimba-Editing by Jonathan Browne