Say they’re 100% sure WAEC did not check their papers
By Ben T.C. Brooks in Zwedru
Students from seven High Schools, who are said to have failed this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Grand Gedeh County, have said they are would challenge results, “because we performed so well, but the results were on the contrary.”
The students also threatened to disrupt this year’s academic activities should authorities at the Ministry of Education (MoE) fail to address their concerns with the Monrovia National office of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), which is charged to administer the WASSCE.
In late July 2019, the governing body of WAEC Monrovia’s Liberia released that 651 students of 46 high schools equivalent to 65% of 12th graders, who sat the WASSCE, failed all required nine subjects, including seven high schools from Grand Gedeh County.
Grand Gedeh County has 15 public and private high schools, of which 742 students registered in the 12th grade and sat the April/May 2018/2019 WASSCE. Among these, only 74 students passed with the highest in three out of nine subjects.
At a press conference on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 in Zwedru, student Mark Gborkeh Kah of the Zwedru Multilateral High School, who read the statement, said: “We challenge the WASSCE results recently released from Grand Gedeh County School System, because it is not credible and transparent.
“Again, we are not guessing, but rather speaking with clarity, distinction, references and hard evidence, which we, the students’ leaders, are confident of ourselves; about what we wrote on the exam papers, and we cannot just fail all the nine subjects, including the English Grammar,” student Kah said.
“We are 100% sure that WAEC did not check our papers, but just guessed the grade assigned to us in the county, because public test is nothing about magic for students pass unexpectedly. Moreover, some schools send grades for students, who never sat the tests, and had dropped from school after their names where already sent to WASSCE office by their administrators,” the students alleged.
The students said it is impossible for all of them to fail the 2018-2019 examinations, describing the test as “simple.”
They therefore called on the authorities at the MoE to intervene and provide proven results to their case within one month, “or else, we disrupt normal school activities next academic semester.”
Some of the principals, who this newspaper contacted, said they are in support of the students’ action to demand for proven results from WAEC.
Augustine Gaysue, Principal of the Suah Memorial Institute in Zwedru, said he trusted the ability of his teachers, who taught the students before sending them for the regional exam.
“It is not possible that all of my students that I sent for the exam failed all nine subjects; something is wrong somewhere, but not with my students,” Gayesue said.
Grand Gedeh County Education Officer, Harrison Doe, promised to address the students’ quest before next academic semester commences.
Recently, WAEC released the provisional results for this year’s WASSCE candidates with Liberian students performing better than last year.
According to WAEC, which released the results on July 25, the overall performance of the candidates in this year’s examinations “is encouraging,” as compared to their counterparts, who sat the previous year.
The Head of WAEC Monrovia Office, Dale Gboto announced the results at a news conference at the headquarters of WAEC in the Congo Town.
This is the second time that all Liberian high school students have sat the WASSCE.
According to the performance category for 2019, only 406 candidates out of the 39,580 passed both Mathematics and English, while 13 passed in five of the nine subjects, including Math and English.
Some 4,379 passed with credits in five subjects, while 11,817 passed with credits in any three subjects.
Two candidates passed all subjects, while 278 others passed in seven subjects.
A total of 2,972 candidates passed five subjects, while 27,251 passed at least one subject, the WAEC provincial results say.
12,329 candidates from 46 schools throughout the country, including six schools in Nimba, seven in Grand Gedeh, failed to pass any of the subjects, rendering them not eligible to graduate.
And according to the Education Minister, Ansu Sonii, none of the students in this category will be allowed to graduate.