Due to numerous appeals from the public, the West African Examinations Council or WAEC, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, has extended the deadline for registration for the 2018 exams to January 30, 2018, easing pressure on parents, who are still struggling to find money to pay for thousands of 12th Graders across the country.
WAEC had earlier set the deadline for the payment of fees for Monday, 15 January for the national-wide exams slated for April.Liberia is transitioning from the Liberian Senior High School Exams to the West Africa School Secondary School Certificate Examination or WASSCE, to get on par with member countries in the sub-region.
A press release issued by the Ministry of Education in Monrovia Wednesday cautions principals and school administrators that the inability on the part of students to pay the registration fees is not a legitimate reason for students to be out of schools.
Schools here have already begun asking students out of class to go in search of money to make payment within the previous deadline. Recently, students from various secondary schools in Montserrado County and its environs converged at the headquarters of the main opposition Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC prior to the December 26, 2017 runoff presidential election, pleading with then Presidential candidate, now President-elect George Weah for financial assistance to enable them pay their fees.
Neither President-elect Weah nor the victorious Coalition has made any public statement on the students’ appeal. Their decision to turn to the CDC came after the Government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, which had been paying fees for both 12th Graders and 9th Graders across the country in past years, says it is financially incapacitated.
Authorities at the Ministry of Education last year announced to the general public that the due to the number of students that are to sit the exams, the government is no longer able to pay students’ examinations fees.
Deputy Education Minister, and Chief Chairperson of the WEAC Council Dr. Romelle A. Horton told members of the Press that considering the students population, and huge cost that is involved, the Government of Liberia is no longer in the financial position to shoulder the responsibility.
“We are therefore appealing to parents, corporate organizations, international donors, agencies and philanthropic private individuals to braze up towards the payment of WASSCE fees for their children, and ward or the provision of scholarship for their indigent students”, the government’s release concludes.