The Ministry of Education (MOE) says school administrators in the country should not collect graduation fees from 12th graders as part of its graduation activities.
Dr. Ronelle A. Horton, Deputy Minister for Instruction at the Ministry of Education and Liberia’s Chief Nominee to WAEC, made the disclosure yesterday at the Ministry of Information’s regular Thursday press briefing held on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.
“The ministry reminds all schools in the strongest terms that no school is allowed to charge students for graduation fees. There should be no graduation fees charges to our precious students. We call on schools that are charging fees to desist and if fees are already collected they must be paid back to the students immediately,” Minister Horton said.
According to her, all students are to wear their school uniforms during the graduation services, urging all schools to abide by the information from the ministry to avoid further punishment.
“Any school collecting graduation fees will be in violation of the Ministry of Education’s rule and may be sanctioned. Passing the WAEC and graduating is a wonderful achievement and the ministry will join students, schools and communities and families to congratulate all graduating seniors upon [releasing] the results of WAEC in August,” Minister Horton said.
She said the ministry reminds all schools, students, and families that graduation for all schools both public and private and faith-based is conditioned on students passing the exams administered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
According to her, there will be no graduation before the results of the exams, and authorities are hoping to have the results of the exams in the first week of August.
“National examinations set standards for all schools operating in Liberia and serve as the only assessment tool for Liberian students. To graduate students who have not passed WAEC is to undermine the integrity of the country’s education system,” she stressed.
Minister Horton further disclosed that 46,900 students from 514 schools are currently writing this year’s WAEC exams at 217 centers.
“We have had a good week so far. One of our problems has been the heavy downpour of rain, which has stopped some students from Todee District from taking the exams,” she said.
Meanwhile, Minister Horton disclosed that all schools in the country will next year participate in the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE), as it (WASSCE) will be administered to all schools by 2018.
“We will be using next year to prepare all our students ahead of 2018 and we believe that students will be seriously excited about the update from the ministry,” Minister Horton said.