By Lewis S Teh
The executive director of People Actions Network or PAN Rufus Neufville has pledged to give 150,000 Liberian dollars to students earning high marks in the upcoming West African Examination Council’s exams.
WAEC Monrovia Office recently suspended the exams indefinitely after about eight of its staff reportedly went missing onboard the sunken vessel Niko Ivanko six (6) nautical miles off the shore of Marshall City, Margibi County on Saturday, July 17m 2021.
Mr. Neufville, a former lawmaker, and diplomat made the pronouncement Monday, August 2, 2021, when he paid a courtesy call to WEAC Monrovia Office in Oldest Congo Town.
According to him, his visitation was to sympathize and express condolences to the institution for the loss of eight of its staff who went missing some two weeks ago onboard the vessel that was headed for Maryland County, Southeast Liberia. The staffers were carrying examination papers to the region to be administered.
Mr. Neufville noted that WAEC has played a pivotal role in the transformation of the country, and has been a strong partner to growth and development adding that their loss is such a disaster, saying, “Our mission here today is to inform them that we are saddened by their loss.”
“We also want to pledge the amount of LRD150,000 to students who will strive for academic excellence”, he said and added the amount represents cash award to students who will top the exams that will be administered at a new timetable yet to be announced.
The student with the highest score in the 12th-grade category will receive 75,000 Liberian dollars, while the other top scorer in the 9th grade will get 40,000 Liberian dollars, while students with the highest score in 6th grade will also receive 20,000 Liberian dollars and the highest scorer from the 3rd grade will get 15,000 Liberian dollars, respectively, he added.
He noted while the payment of WASSCE fees by President George Weah remains historic, and laudable that alone can’t transform the educational sector of the country. “It’s against this backdrop that we have to make this pronouncement permanent for every academic year; the students with the highest score in each category will receive this amount.”
Neufville explained the People Action Network is a nongovernmental organization that is involved with advocating for the vast majority of Liberians.
When quizzed what prompted his organization to make such pronouncements, he said when people are in trouble or are going through bereavement, it is good to identify with them, saying that’s why we’re calling on every meaningful citizen to stop by and identify with WEAC.
“We also want our students to perform better, usually when you announced a cash prize in any competition, people always perform better”, he added. Editing by Jonathan Browne