LNP says investigation still in progress
The Head Office of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) in Ghana has called on Liberia’s WAEC Office to provide the results of the investigation that led to the rescheduling of the 2016 exams.
It may be recalled that the exams were canceled a day before it was to be administered to over 33,000 12th graders across the country due to an alleged burglary of the office at the Konola SDA Mission in Margibi County where the exams were stored.
The cancellation of the exams caused the Government to solicit an additional US$300,000 to reprint the exams although it remains unclear whether the tests papers were reprinted.
The exams were retaken on June 27, 2016 while some students of the Konola SDA Mission were being investigated regarding the reported burglary of the exam documents on their campus.
WAEC was established in 1951 and conducts examinations known as the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) across West Africa.
“We have made the necessary effort to ensure that the results (of the investigation) are turned over to us but to no avail. We talked with the former LNP Director, Chris Massaquoi, but continue to get the same response that they will get back to us. And WAEC
International Office continues to ask our office to provide the results of the investigation and up to now, Liberia cannot provide the report,” Dale G. Gbotoe, Head of Liberia’s WAEC Office told reporters over the weekend in Monrovia.
Condemning the situation, Mr. Gbotoe, who took over Liberia’s WAEC Office in June of this year, said his administration will ensure that the results are provided to WAEC International.
Mr. Gbotoe maintains that the investigation report remains cardinal to Liberia’s education development, especially in the Western region.
But the spokesperson of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Sam Collins, said the investigation is still continuing as the LNP is yet to identify any direct suspect of the incident since the first suspects were investigated and released.
“Four students of the Konola SDA Mission were identified as suspects at first, but they were later released to the school authorities after it was established both nationally and internationally through finger prints that they had nothing to do with the leak or burglary of the test papers,” Collins told the Daily Observer yesterday.
“Our forensic team visited the scene and got the finger prints of these students which were tested in Liberia and later taken to China and both tested negative. We therefore had no cause to hold them in jail or custody for further investigation. Collins said the investigating team continues to work hard and cautioned residents in the towns and villages surrounding Konola who may have information about the situation to assist the police in getting to those who allegedly committed the act.
Mr. Collins assured the people of Liberia and WAEC Liberia office of LNP’s commitment to continue investigating the 2016 leak at the Konola SDA Mission, stating that, “We can take sometimes 12 or more years to investigate a case and still come out with results.”
He added that there are three ways that the police can investigate cases, including disposing of cases through the court, pending a withdrawal by the complainant.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gbotoe said Liberia will commence administering WAEC International exams beginning with the 2017-2018 exams instead of national exams.
Mr. Gbotoe said his administration will shortly commence providing the test questions to students in order to get them prepared for the test, adding that “we will provide 1,000 questions of each subject and 60 will be provided during the testing period.”
Mr. Dale G. Gbotoe, Head of Liberia WAEC office assumed the position from John Y. Gayvolor this month. He will remain in the position until retirement or in case of illness.
Gbotoe has spent over 8 years with the organization, serving in several other positions, including registrar.