By Alvin Worzi & David S. Menjor
The head of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) in Liberia, John Y. Gayvolor, says there is no need for alarm over students taking their WAEC examinations on their own campuses while their principals serve as supervisors.
Mr. Gayvolor made the remarks yesterday to allay concerns about the principals of some schools across the country supervising their own students. Those expressing mistrust of self-monitoring claim that every principal would want successful results for their students and therefore there could be some manipulation.
Mr. Gayvolor, however, explained that “Those students who were allowed to sit the exams in their home schools with their principals serving as supervisors are also monitored by a team from WAEC’s head office and therefore there was no need to politicize educational matters.
“What is happening now is not new or strange. Those principals were hired by WAEC and each of them took oaths and signed documents granting our office the right to bring them to book in case they fail to act professionally,” Mr. Gayvolor said.
Providing statistics on the student population sitting WAEC exams this year, Gayvolor said, “We have 558 registered senior high schools across the country with 31,297 12th grade students. 16,722 are males while 14,575 are females.”
He said his record of 1,043 staff, including proctors and supervisors across the country are monitoring 212 examination centers created nationwide.
Mr. Gayvolor apologized for the recent abrupt change in schedule for the 9th grade examinations, citing administrative and logistical constraints.
“We have registered 39,759 students from 1,250 schools across the country for the junior high examinations comprising 20,774 males and 18,985 females. We have 264 centers available for them to sit the test on Thursday and Friday of next week,” he said.
At the William Booth Salvation Army School near Red Light, Principal George T. Williams said, he is confident his 12th graders will go beyond the 94.4 percent score the class of 2015/2016 achieved.
He indicated that most of the students sitting this year’s WAEC at his school did not sit the test while leaving 9th grade and his school’s records show that those students enrolled when they got promoted to the 10th grade.
Two of the students, Lorpu A. Flomo and Anthony S. Flomo (not related) told the Daily Observer that they have never had the experience of sitting for a public test but expressed confidence that they will succeed with high marks.
“I have been preparing for this by studying my lessons and learning from other materials outside of what my teachers taught me. I will score grades that will put smiles on the faces of my parents,” Lorpu Flomo said.
Two hundred and forty-two students of the school registered but one student did not show up for the test on Monday, and Tuesday, the administration said.
At the Effort Baptist High School which is hosting students from the New Destiny High School, an academic NGO, the Applied Scholastic International (ASI) from South Africa, is said to have conducted workshops for staff and refreshers for their students.
Principal Moses K. Vah told the Daily Observer that his staff used the WAEC syllabus to teach his candidates sitting the test.