The recent decision by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to cancel this year’s West African Examinations Council’s exams (WAEC) has sparked mixed reactions from principals, teachers, parents and guardians in Monrovia.
Principal Dennis Boakai of the Johnson Baysawala Mission High School in Paynesville told the Daily Observer Monday that the decision was premature and needed a broader consultation among education stakeholders in the country.
Principal Boakai suggested that the MOE senior staff and other education policymakers should concentrate on post-Ebola recovery assistance to schools in the country.
“As for us private school administrators, we are preparing our students in every way to meet the challenges of the WAEC in the country,” Principal Boakai stated.
Principal K. Zubah Kollie of the Messiah Baptist Mission in Morris Farm, Paynesville contends that placing priorities on subsidies to private and mission schools should be the preoccupation of the MOE at the moment.
Kollie pointed out that although they were also affected by the Ebola virus crisis their efforts are aimed at stepping up academic activities at the school in order to meet the challenges of the WAEC exams.
“What we need as private and mission schools are subsidies and other attractive incentives that will boost our administrative and instructional capacities,” Principal Kollie stressed.
Meanwhile, some principals and administrators of government operated elementary, junior and senior high schools welcomed the decision by the MOE and stressed the need for sufficient preparation for the WAEC exams.
Principal William K. Gbanamah of the Paynesville Central High School described the decision by the MOE as timely and in the right direction for the teachers and students.
“In my view the cancellation of this year’s WAEC exams will actually help us to prepare our students (properly) for the WAEC and other external exams in our country,” Principal Gbanamah stressed.
He pointed out that teachers and principals need ample time to cover the required curriculum prescribed by the MOE in order for students to face the WAEC and other external examinations.
“We know the academic capacity of our students and therefore need a lot of instructional preparation in order to face the WEAC and other public exams,” said Principal Gbanamah.
Some of the parents and guardians of students in government operated schools they were relieved when the MOE announced the cancellation of the WAEC exams for 2015.
Parent Deddeh K. Mulbah of Soul Clinic Community said the MOE’s decision was great and timely as most of her children were not ready for any external examination due to the Ebola virus crisis that caused the closure of schools in the country.
Another parent Blama B. Sando thanked God for the new Minister of Education and staff and for their timely and splendid decision on the cancellation of the WAEC exams for all schools in the country.
Mr. Sando said many government operated schools had not been able to cover the prescribed curriculum designed by the MOE for the first semester of the school calendar year.
Many parents feel that without the adequate instruction and preparation due to the prolonged closure of schools caused by the Ebola crisis, their children are unready and would be put at a serious disadvantage in sitting the WAEC exams.