For the first time in its history, the University of Liberia has reported mass failure in its entrance and placement exams administered recently in Monrovia. According to the UL Relations Department, of the more than 24, 000 candidates who sat the exams at the undergraduate level, not one made a pass.
Regrettably, no candidate could even reach the 50% and 70% benchmarks set by the University Mathematics and English as passing scores. While candidates, including those from the UL undergraduate program, for the master’s programs dismally performed in the exams to the surprise of all, 47 destined for the A.M. Dogliotti college of Medicine are reported to have hit the 70% bench mark or above.
However, as a result of two separate meetings held by the Faculty Senate of the University of Liberia, 1,840 candidates scoring 40% in Mathematics and 50% in English in the graduate and undergraduate programs will be accepted. While we acknowledge the unpreparedness and lackadaisical attitudes of most high school students towards their lessons, we still find it not only difficult, but also shocking that all candidates would fail the 2013/2014 UL entrance and placement without a single candidate reaching the benchmarks of 50% and 70% in Mathematics and English.
To even suggest that there was not a single candidate that made it in the master’s program, when more than half of the candidates sitting the exams were from the UL undergraduate, may raise eye-brows at the administration of the university. While we wouldn’t want to dive into the condemnation game, the urgent need to clear our doubt-in terms of what actually happened must also be emphasized.
In view of the foregoing, it would be befitting for either the Board of Trustees of the University of Liberia or Visitor to the University, President Ellen Sirleaf to commission an investigation into the situation amid her (President Sirleaf) visit on Tuesday to the UL. With news of this “academic calamity” about Liberia running through major international media outlets, everything must be done to identify the cause(s) of such national embarrassment.
As we call for an investigation, current students of the University of Liberia, especially those from campus-based political institution must also divorce themselves from all forms of emotions/sentiments in reacting to this situation staying away from violence.
Utterances/opinions on this situation must also be guided by the highest degree of responsibility as university students and not the usual threats of violence, etc., etc, while we all await the interventions of the UL Board of Trustees and Visitor to the University.