Students’ poor trial performance portends poor results
The executive director of the Sustainable Development Network-Liberia Incorporated (SDN-Liberia) has forecast massive failure for Liberian students in the upcoming West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) because of the poor performance of students during the trial from WAEC to WASSCE.
Mr. Blamo Nimle said, “For the past three years, Liberia’s education sector has been preparing students for a pilot phase for the transition from WAEC to WASSCE, but their performance has been poor.”
“So those who are in the 12 grade never had the chance to sit one of those trial exams. Secondly, there were selected schools that went through the pilot phases. As I speak to you, based on reports I gathered from principals, CEOs [county education officers] and DEOs [district education officers], the three pilot exams never reached the entire southeastern region,” Nimle revealed.
Nimle also named the lack of qualified teachers for the sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics) in many counties, lack of relevant textbooks, lack of equipped laboratories in many schools and the refusal of students to take their lessons seriously plus more subjects required under WASSCE as contributing factors for poor performance.
“We are going to experience massive failure. And if they use the WASSCE as a requirement for students entering universitiy, definitely you will be denying hundreds of young people an education,” he said.
Nimle also frowned on the huge increment of the exam fees from US$30 to US$60.
“Sadly for the students and parents and in the wake of the current economic challenges, the Government of Liberia has announced the lack of funding to subsidize WASSCE fees, resulting in a very low registration turnout although these students are in the 12th grade.
“Should we still subject our students to this test, knowing all of the challenges? What are the next options available to Liberian students? What will happen to senior high school students, who could pass their respective school requirements, but yet fail to pass this new test? Government and education stakeholders must swiftly act now to manage the situation.
WASSCE was formerly known as Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) and is designed for private and public schools in Anglophone West Africa, which includes Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Students are required to wear distinctive uniforms as described in the standards set by their schools.
The examination is offered during the summer (May to June), and the results are available by August. The last exams are administered in November/December and are also known as the General Certificate Examinations (GCE).
WASSCE is a standardized test, administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). Subjects include (agriculture) Animal Husbandry, Fisheries or Forestry. Others are Crop Husbandry and Horticulture, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics (Elective), Geography, French or Music, among others.
SDN-Liberia is a non-governmental organization that champions the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a collection of 17 interrelated global goals set out by the United Nations, through outreach and awareness in Liberia.