Of more than 13,000 candidates who sat this year’s University of Liberia (UL) placement and entrance examination, only 15 passed, this newspaper has learnt.
A renowned economist, Mr. Sam P. Jackson, who made the startling revelation over the weekend said, this is another disastrous indication of the country’s poor educational system.
This is a repeat of the same results recorded from the 2013 UL placement and entrance exams in which none of the over 25,000 candidates made a successful pass. This massive failure sent shock waves across the globe.
Mr. Jackson’s disclosure of the appalling exam results was contained in a paper he presented at a just ended two-day forum on economic recovery from the Impact of the Ebola Epidemic.
The theme of the forum organized by Consortium of Concerned Businesses in Liberia was “Strengthening Trade and Commerce for Post-Ebola Liberia.”
UL president, Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, confirmed the exam results when he told the forum that the testing committee had completed the marking of papers with results confirming officially that “only 15 out of 13,000 students that sat the exams successfully passed.”
"The testing committee and the faculty senate will look at the results and make recommendations", Dr. Dennis had said in a recent interview.
Mr. Jackson said In order to create an educated and a trained work force, there was a need for the government to spend substantially more on education with the goal of improving academic attainment and financing vocational and technical programs.
What is sad is that admission to the state-run University is exposing the weak educational system with high school graduates desirous of enrolling at the university failing massively in the two recently administered entrance and placement exams.
He spoke on the topic, “The State of Liberia’s economy before the Ebola Disaster, Impact on GOL’s Capacity to Deliver on National Development Agenda and National Budgetary Realignment.”
In his paper, Mr. Jackson stressed the need for realigning the national budget to respond efficiently to short-term/emergency priorities, including support to critical sectors and domestic enterprises.
In several interviews with teachers and students across town over the weekend shortly after the exam results broke, a home teacher, Julius Tawo Howison, said the results coming from the university were troubling and needed to be properly examined by the government before it is brought to the attention of the public.
Another teacher, Larry Johnson called for the re-examination of the standard of the university and the high school curriculum, noting; “we have to look at the standard the university is using to fail those candidates and the UL’s motive. If they do not want students to attend the university due to overcrowding, let them say so. They should not discredit the country’s entire education system.”
For candidate Grace George, the results seemed like a dream, because according to her, “I know what I wrote as my test answers so I did not expect to fail.”