The Daily Observer investigation has established that several students, most of them who live across rivers from schools in Bong and Margibi counties did not sit for the just ended 2016 exams administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
The affected students are from the Pentecostal Conqueror Academy (PCA) along Bong Mines Road in Kakata, School of Christ International (SOCI) in Weala and the Frelela Public School (FPS) in Frelela Town, Bong County.
The number of students, who missed the exam are said to be about 35 including female and male students.
WAEC Monrovia office confirmed the report but attributed the missed exams to what it described as “unforeseen circumstances” that prevented the students from turning up.
WAEC Head of Test Administration, Dele G. Gbotoe, via mobile phone, told the Daily Observer that some of the students who did not take the test had arrived at a creek that had overflowed its banks causing the students “considerable delay in arriving at the testing centers.”
Nevertheless, Daily Observer Bong County correspondent reported that the students affected from Margibi County were not registered by their respective administrations during the WAEC registration period, while a few students from the FPS allegedly dropped out of school after registering for the exams, which were administered in June instead of May this year.
The Principal of the Pentecostal Conqueror Academy, Stephen S. K. Momo on Thursday, July 6 confirmed the information, but said there were only seven students that registered for WAEC from his institution.
He said despite several announcements or reminders made to both students and parents about WAEC fees, some of them did not register. Mr. Momo noted that at the beginning of the school year, about 15 ninth graders enrolled, but a few dropped and the number reduced to 12, adding that out of the twelve, five did not write the exams.
He said those students who missed the WAEC will not pass to the next class, “because the Ministry of Education (MOE) issued a very strict mandate to school authorities not to promote students from the ninth and 12th grades who did not write or who failed the WAEC exams.”
The coordinator for the School of Christ International, George S. Tengbeh, confirmed the situation and attributed it to parents’ failure to register their children in the stipulated time set by WAEC, which elapsed before many parents paid the registration fees.
Exams administered by the WAEC for both 9th and 12 graders are annual academic exercises to evaluate students’ preparedness for graduation or promotion to secondary level.
This year’s administration of the exams suffered a series of constraints beginning with the cancellation of the previous exams due to what the administration claimed was “an unexpected theft of copies of each of the nine exam subjects from the Konola SDA Mission.” The MOE stated that it could not justify administering exams that had been leaked.
Although the date on the exam papers administered remains the same as the copies of the exams purportedly leaked, WAEC Monrovia office went ahead and administered the exams June 27 to July 1 to more than 46, 000 registered 12th graders.