A NewDawn’s investigation has established that dozens of students from schools in Margibi and Bong Counties did not write the just ended 2016 exams administered by West African Examinations Council or WAEC across Liberia.
The affected students are from three schools in both counties, including the Pentecostal Conqueror Academy or PCA along Bong Mines Road in Kakata, School of Christ International or SOCI in Weala and the Frehla Public School or FPS in Frehla Town, Bong County.
The number is above 35, amounting to over three dozen 9th graders. The students affected from Margibi were not registered by their respective administrations during the WAEC registration period, while few students from the FPS allegedly dropped from school after registering for the exams, which were administered in May.The Principal of the Pentecostal Conqueror Academy, Stephen S. K. Momo confirmed to this paper on Thursday, 6 July, 2016 on the main campus of his school the information is correct because only seven students registered for WAEC from his institution.
He said despite several announcements or reminders made to both students and parents about WAEC fees, some of them did not register. Mr. Momo noted that at the beginning of the school year, about 15 ninth graders enrolled, but few dropped and the number reduced to 12, adding that out of the twelve, five did not write the exams.
He said those ninth graders, who never sat the exams, will not pass to the next class because the Ministry of Education issued a very strict mandate to school authorities not to promote students from the ninth and 12th grades who did not write or fail the WAEC exams.
He added that the Ministry’s branch in the county is aware of the situation because it has all relevant information about his institution. Also the coordinator for the School of Christ International, Evangelist George S. Tengbeh, II, who recently said he was not prepared to be recorded on tape, confirmed the situation and attributed it to parents’ failure to register their children in the stipulated time set by WAEC, which elapsed before many parents paid the registration fees.
He did not disclose the total number of students from his institution in this category, but an aggrieved ninth grader from there confided in The NewDawn t they are more than 40 students.
Our investigation also gathered that during the Ebola period, SOCI had about 35 students, but approximately 15 dropped, while all of the students from the eighth grade class, who were above 20, joined their colleagues before the WAEC exams.
Mr. Tengbeh indicated that some of the parents agreed that the money be transferred to their children’s school fees for the next academic year, while many requested for refund. Information about ninth graders from the School of Christ not writing the exams went wide in Weala recently when many parents expressed disappointment in the school for causing their children not to go for WAEC.
Our reporter who visited the Lutheran School during the test in Salala where some ninth graders from Bong County wrote the exams recently, says few students from the Frehla Public School were absent during verification before commencement of the exams, and it was later learnt that they dropped from the school after the WAEC registration.
Exams administered by the West African Examinations Council for both 9th and 12 graders are annual academic exercises to evaluate students’ preparedness for graduation or promotion to secondary level.
Editing by Jonathan Browne