The maxim—‘wonders shall never end,’ was manifested again at this year’s tests when two pregnant high school students went into labor while writing their West African Examinations Council (WAEC) exams at different testing centers in Monrovia.
The two students have been identified as Cynthia Sam, 20, and Hajah Fahnbulleh, 19. They both gave birth to their first children: a boy and a girl respectively.
The students went into labor on Wednesday, May 19, 2014, while they were writing their tests on the campuses of the Liberia Dujar Association High School in Gardnersville and the William V.S. Tubman High School on 12th Street, Sinkor.
Cynthia Sam gave birth in the Barnesville Community at about 3 a.m., outside Monrovia, while Hajah Fahnbulleh delivered at the S.D. Cooper Hospital in Sinkor, around 12 midday.
Midwives and nurses who attended to the two births have referred to the babies as “WAEC Babies.”
Ms. Fahnbulleh, who delivered at the S.D. Cooper Hospital in the neighborhood of her school, was taking her exams when she got went into labor pain and was immediately rushed by her friends and other female students to the hospital.
She delivered the baby without any complications, doctors there said.
A short while later, she told this paper in an interview at her bedside that she had earlier experienced contractions, but that was prior to the distribution of the examination questionnaires in the morning hours.
“I managed and stayed on because I was desirous to finish the tests which I have throughout the year struggled to overcome,” she told our reporter as she tried to smile.
She has, therefore, expressed her willingness to continue writing the tests in the coming days, “Because I kept the courage not to remain at home while I was already pregnant.”
Additionally, Ms. Fahnbulleh said she had wanted to ensure that, despite all of the criticisms she received from friends during her pregnancy, she did not give up the hope to meet the challenges of writing the WAEC. And certainly, she made it, but for only two days.
She explained rather sorrowfully that she endured many challenges during the pregnancy. “Even to wake up in the morning to make my way to school was sometimes difficult, because this was the first time I had conceived.”
The young mother was, however, encouraged by her immediate family members and some ‘good neighbors’ to preserve in her academic sojourn until the WAEC exams were completed.
“I thank the Almighty God, who carried me safely. I hope that the head of WAEC can see the academic reason and make the necessary way for me to re-sit the tests that I have already missed while I was in labor pain,” she pleaded.
While on her hospital bed, Ms Fahnbulleh made a call to the testing center after giving birth to ask if there was any possibility for the supervisor to allow her continue writing the test. “Because I was feeling well and wanted to ensure that what I started is completed…,” she explained.
Ms. Cynthia Sam, a student at the Bishop Grimley High School, was sitting the WAEC at the Liberia Dujar Association High School when she experienced labor pains.
She delivered her bouncing “WAEC Baby” at 3 a.m. the next morning.
It is always important, she said, to motivate people in such a situations, especially first-time mothers who muster the courage and continue their education pursuits to reach as far as writing the WAEC.
After giving birth to the baby, Cynthia was later that morning accompanied by one of her sisters to the testing center to continue writing her exam.
She unfortunately arrived too late to continue. Whether or not she will be allowed to re-take the exams has not been confirmed.