By David S. Menjor and Alvin Worzi
Over 31, 000 12th graders from across Liberia yesterday began taking the exams administered annually by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) without reports of any difficulties.
Yesterday’s exams were conducted without reports of any malpractice that has over the years characterized the exams.
WAEC is an annual public test administered in The Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Liberia to students leaving grades 9 and 12, respectively.
Although journalists from the Daily Observer were not allowed access to some of the centers including the Paynesville Community High School, Voker Mission, Effort Baptist, William Gabriel Kpolleh High School, Assembly of God Mission High School and Nathan E. Gibson, they managed to observe that the testing process started on time.
Meanwhile, 12th graders, who used to take two subjects a day from Monday to Thursday and one on Friday, started the exam with only Mathematics yesterday.
The students are expected to take Chemistry and Literature today, Tuesday.
One of the students said “We were told that it takes a long time to get the students seated on the first day of the test, which usually leads to completing the test late. I appreciate such idea, because students will no longer experience going home late on the first day of the test.”
Last week, while the 9th graders were set to take the exams, WAEC Monrovia National Office announced the postponement without providing any reasons.
The decision to reschedule the 9th graders’ tests came with less than 24 hours for them to sit this year’s exam.
WAEC meanwhile rescheduled the 9th graders’ test from Thursday, May 19 and Friday, May 20 to Thursday, May 29 and Friday, 30th. No explanation was offered by the Monrovia office up to press time last night.
Following the abrupt decision last week, one Mr. Sherman reportedly forwarded emails to authorities of schools which were selected as examination centers, informing them about the change in schedule.
Meanwhile, the Daily Observer learnt yesterday that one student, Abraham Kamara, from the Nathan E. Gibson Memorial High School, who was previously expelled from the WAEC on grounds that he did not register for the test, appeared to have sat the test.
Madam Roberta R. Anderson, lead supervisor of the school, said records showed that student Kamara did not register for the test, but was pretending to be another student who was absent for yesterday’s exercise.
“We got to know that this student was not a part of this examination verification of their names, ages, and sex. Our observation showed that this student went out claiming the space belonging to one Owenco Walker whose WAEC ID # is 318,” Madam Anderson said.
The principal, Momo Kamara, expressed disappointment in Kamara for being unfair to himself. Meanwhile, up to press time last night, it was not established what action WAEC, even the Ministry of Education, would take against Abraham Kamara, who was obviously sitting the exam for Owenco Walker, and Walker, for trying to defraud the system.