WAEC Releases ‘Poor Results’ for WASSCE

Madam Aguwu and Mr. Toe at yesterday press conference on WASSCE's result

-Records 21,580 Students Failure

Authorities of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Monrovia National Office yesterday released provisional results of this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) maiden exams covering senior and junior high schools.

In the senior high category, of which a total of 33,979 candidates from 600 high schools submitted entries, 21,580 candidates representing 65.15 percent of the candidates who sat the examination were unsuccessful.

According to WAEC authorities, only 11,544 candidates representing 34.85 percent of candidates, who sat the examination made a successful pass in individual subjects. The exam was was administered from April 3 to April 20, 2018.

“855 candidates’ results are withheld for examination malpractice, including 60 candidates who were caught with cell phones, 40 candidates caught with foreign materials, 62 candidates caught for irregular activities, 122 candidates for insults and assaults and 571 candidates from 14 schools for collusion,” WAEC’s authorities said.

Yesterday’s provisional results was read by the Officer-In-Charge of WAEC’s Monrovia National Office, Isaac Toe in the presence of Christopher D. Sankolo and Madam Comfort Aguwu, Special Deputy Registrar.

Toe said 32 of the 600 high schools made a 100 percent pass rate of (E8) in at least one subject, while 33 of them made a 90 plus percent pass rate of (E8) in at least one subject.

According to Mr. Toe, candidate Samuel G. Sumo of the Firestone Senior High School in Margibi County and Candidate Munah J. Wlemus of ELWA Academy, located in Paynesville, Montserrado County passed with credits in English and Mathematics.

“Emmanuel Morris of J.J. Roberts United Methodist High School (Monrovia) and Peter Thomas Kollie of St. Martin’s Catholic High School, located in Gbarnga, Bong County passed in eight of the nine subjects,” Toe said.

Additionally, he said candidate Nelly Wende of SOS Hermann Gmeiner High School in Monrovia, Lewis Rogers of the J.J. Roberts and candidate Ahmadou R. Jalloh of William Booth (Salvation Army) High School in Paynbesville, passed in seven of the nine subjects administered.

Junior High Division

In a related development, Toe said the Liberia Junior High School Certificate Examination for School candidates was administered at 256 centers. A total of 40,502 candidates sat the exam, but only 25,685 candidates representing 63.42 percent made a successful pass.

“We have 14,817 candidates representing 36.58 percent of candidates who sat the examination and became unsuccessful,” authorities said.

Accordingly, Candidate Luther D. Makehyor of Pamela Kay High School, located in Brewerville, Montserrado County is the best performing candidate on the examination.

Candidate Makehyor scored 379.00 in the examination in the Liberia Junior High exam.

Gov’t set students up for failure?

In a related development, a new study released in Monrovia says 69.6 percent of students who participated in a recent study conducted by Open Liberia felt less confident of passing this year’s WASSCE, even before they completed sitting the exams.

The study, conducted on the last two days of the exams, interviewed 165 students from 31 schools in Monrovia. This year, 33,979 students sat the exams.

Although there have been previous predictions that there would be mass failure in WASSCE, this is the first time the predictions are being backed by data.

“69.6 percent of respondents felt ‘less confident of passing’ the exams, despite all the years of preparing for it; and about 80 percent of respondents saying they were definitely prepared for the exams. “33.5 percent of respondents said they found questions in the exams Somehow Difficult while 25.3 percent said they were Very Difficult. 9.5 percent of them described the exams as Very Strange; and 7.6 percent as Somehow Strange,” Princess M. Zoduah, Open Liberia’s program officer, said at a press conference in Monrovia yesterday.

Princess M. Zoduah, Program Officer, Open Liberia

Open Liberia believes the anticipated mass failure is due to the huge disparity in topics that were covered in the WASSCE exams versus what students said they were taught in school. Subjects such as Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology came out as the most difficult subjects with different topics.

“When asked whether the exam questions were different or similar to topics taught in class, 66 percent of respondents said topics covered in the exams were different from those they were taught in school. This percentage is a combination of 30% respondents that said the topics were Maybe Similar and 16% that said they were Somehow Similar to classroom lessons,” Ms. Zoduah said.

Although Open Liberia says it has deployed resources for a comprehensive qualitative assessment of WASSCE questionnaires versus the current academic curriculum for secondary schools, it believes the data it generated during the April study explains why students felt the exams and their school lessons were worlds apart.

“77.3 percent of students in the study emphatically stated that they did not have functional laboratories in their schools. Only 22.7 percent said they had laboratories in their schools. But even for students who said they had laboratories in their schools, they complained about them being obsolete. Although in the absence of laboratories, science subjects such as Chemistry, Physics and Biology were still being taught, but only in theory, not practical,” Ms. Zoduah said.

Against this backdrop, the civil society group is urging the government to exercise restraints in making policy decisions, especially those affecting students, based on this year’s results.

The group says instead of government focusing on punishing students for failing the exams, it must first address issues that contributed to their failure, such as lack of laboratories and libraries in secondary schools, as well as low skills of teachers in mathematics and science subjects.

Zoduah said conditions under which students are learning were appalling for government to have even thought of administering a highly science-based exam.


  1. In other countries, there are consequences for such mass failures in schools. And those consequences do not only relate to shaming schools and their students, but putting teachers on some plan of action or correction as well. In other words failing schools would be made or obligated to improve this grim situation in a given period, or there will be some consequences not excluding shutting the darn schools down, dismissing worthless teachers, withholding whatever incentives for the school, or in the case of Liberia, debarring such schools from participating in sporting or whatever the inter-school activities until the situation is improved. But we hear of these poor performances year in year out, with no consequence for those largely responsible for these horrible outcomes, and we expect different outcomes? Sadly the quality of “graduates” we put out of these schools, incidentally just happen to be our future senators, representatives, engineers, doctors, lawyers, police, even teachers, etc. Any wonder everything is a mess in Liberia?

  2. This is the problem we are not looking at the cause for which we fell as a Country but only looking at the place we fell.
    Do we have equipped schools and prepared teachers specialized in different subjects? Or only want students to pass examinations? It needs serious attention.

  3. There is a serious need for increasenent in teachers salaries with others benefits and also with labs in all high schools ,with these there will be a decreased in the mass failure.

  4. The problem in LIBERIA school system have many factors:
    1. The parents promote their children from class A to B if he or she faill in school A go to school B and take class B.
    2. The government of LIBERIA have many pay roll system you get 2103,4703,5503 and so on Teachers who place on 2103 get more pay and work less. Teachers on 4703 and 5503 work for two months to get one month pay for this reasons many teachers still away from government schools
    3. The CEO of the very counties relax in offices no montring school.

  5. Comment: There Is A Need For Extendtion Of Times For Registration N Placement Of Exam, U Will Notics That The Time Of The Exam With Always B Around The Four Period In Liberia So For This Reasons Many Of Our Teachers Will Not B Able 2 Complete The Topics With In The Curriculum In Order 2 Prepared Their Stu. Secondly The Ministry(MOE) Need 2 Work In Line With The Council So That Both With Come Up With One Curriculum To B Used.

    • 70 – 80% of the topics for this examination come from grade ten and eleven of the WASSCE syllabus. So, teaching topics for students in ten and eleven grade should be given more time in school days ( 7:30 – 4:00 daily) which will help teachers complete the subjects syllabus. In still of give time to lot of non academy activities during school days. The private school should start building there own laboratory and stop talking one story over.
      We need to be in line with other country if we want to be counted as developed country.
      Moreover, the salary of teachers should be attractive to bring professional teachers on board in the private and public schools.

  6. Mass failure in such public exams is becoming the norm in Liberia’s education sector. This is an academic crisis and I think that President George Weah needs to declare a state of emergency in the education sector. Indeed, the education sector needs some reforms. What a dismal performance! The latest flop of 65.15% is a disgrace and if this trend continues it will jeopardize the future of today’s youths and the generation after them.

    There is need for revaluation to understand where the missing link is. We need to take urgent steps to understand causes of the mass failure and find lasting solutions to prevent any reoccurrences. There is also the need to look at teachers’ education because we have some teachers who are not properly trained, who don’t do research and cannot read or write properly. So, how can they teach our children well?

    Part of the problem can be attributed to the poor quality of education received at the primary school level. And it is this same crop of students that will move to the high schools. Some of them can hardly write or read. Without a foundation, there is no way a house can stand. Those formulating our school curriculum must sit up, if not, we have our future doomed.

    The other factor is infrastructural decay in the school system. There are no well-equipped libraries or laboratories, and most of the schools don’t have proper amenities. Until the government at all levels up the ante by increasing the spending allocated to education, by improving the quality of capacity of teachers, providing physical and intellectual infrastructure, and incentives for teachers and students, mass failure and malpractice will continue to be the order of the day rather than an exception.

    The most beautiful girl in Liberia who wins our beauty pageant attracts wonderful gifts, money, cars, world tour, and is featured in the media for her beauty. But the students who spend time in the classroom to read and excel in his examination, what do we do for them? They are not celebrated. So, the students themselves are not even motivated to read. For some of them, the perception is why read when playing football for a club side for just six months will give you the money you need in a lifetime? When last did we as a people recognise excellence in academia? But footballers are celebrated; they make millions when we win competitions but the best students are not even recognised.

  7. The mass failure of our pupils in WASSCE this year is not a surprise. You cannot operate a system that lacks trained and qualified teachers and expect to have quality results; the results will always be a MESS as the system itself is. Some of those who are in the classroom as teachers are not, but are just HUSTLERS taking advantage of the high unemployment rate to get something doing.

  8. The ministry of education should have curriculum that school follow to teach their students as it relates to wassce examination.Instead do-nothing leaders taking home $15,000 with all kinds of benefits, take some of those salaries to buy text books.Our young people are taking examination containing materials they have not been exposed to.The Moe is the failure here not the kids, is moe making sure that the kids are prepared to sit for these tests?

  9. Fellow Liberians, let us understand that although problems of mass failure in our schools partly got its root from our devastating civil conflict when the educational sector was ravished and the country went brain-drained, governments after the conflict have failed miserably to draw an educational agenda to put us on par with other neighboring countries. They failed to provide the needed state-of-the-art facilities such as, modern libraries, science laboratories, and computer labs that have buttressed the efforts of other West African countries. Let us not even mention our fiscal education budget; no money for research, curriculum development, and teacher training, yet we expect the best out of a rigid science-based test such as WASSCE? Yes, the solutions are there, but they are ignored by government past and present. It is now time for Liberians to wake up to the reality that we’ve been left behind for too long and this must stop if we will build a vibrant and civilized society for our generations yet unborn.

  10. Quote from previous minister of education ” That book we will eat.” If we continue to award positions on friendship and not on qualification, we will continue to be at the bottom. Too many mushroom schools and unqualified teachers popping up in Liberia. Our children are the future, please you leeches calling yourselves lawmakers wake up and do something about education in Liberia.

  11. The study conducted by Open Liberia pointed out some relevant statistical facts. However, the report did not tell us the name of the most successful schools among the 600 high schools that sent in candidates for the exam. For the most part the data only came out with aggregate of mass failure and individual success. For instance, students that passes two subjects and those that were successful in 7-8 subjects. These two groups of successful students are outlier on the positive integer of the scale from lowest to the highest success rate.
    In order for us to know what went wrong, the data should come out with facts stating the percentage of students in the medium of the scale of the positive integer and the name of the best and lowest performing schools. That way, the lowest performing schools can learn from the best performing schools. And one key question that we should all ask ourselves is that; are the text books being use by the best schools are in anyways different from the lowest performing schools ? Or what is the gap between the two ?

  12. There is serious problems with the school system in Liberia that the government need to take immediate action. Our students are can’t be well equipped when they are sitting for public test due to lack of train teachers, lack of quality materials for schooling, lack of good salary etc. If the government of Liberia focus on the above listed areas than our education system will greatly improved

  13. There is serious problems with the school system in Liberia that the government need to take immediate action. Our students can’t be well equipped when they are sitting for public test due to lack of train teachers, lack of quality materials for schooling, lack of good salary etc. If the government of Liberia focus on the above listed areas than our education system will greatly improved

  14. In other to have a successful Wassc candidates in this country, Liberia, the students of this country needs to put time to their lessons; getting rad of the subsequence uses of social medias, especially (Facebook), paying key roads to classroom activities. The ministry of education needs to set up strategies in helping Schools with require materials to get the schools in Liberia up to date.

  15. What are we heading?
    Citizens are crying daily basis on country economy then Our youth are making thing worst for us.

    EDUCATION, here in Liberia is a complete Mess and we need a rapid transformation.

  16. I sense the anguish and frustration of posters on the dismal performance of Liberian students in the nationally administered exams. The success and well-being of any community or organization has everything to the quality of its leaders. The poor quality of everything in Liberia that serves as quality of life indicator rests squarely on the quality of individuals who run our government and institutions. Bad schools, bad roads, bad hospitals, etcetera, simply put, all owe their existence to bad people entrusted with leadership.
    Recently, my optimism about Liberia’s has diminished.

  17. The Liberia primary schools examination by wace need to be administer back. This will show our bed rock of education (primary) is one of the problem to our mess system.

  18. The result is not encouraging, but thumb up those who cross the river. We all have to revamp our educational system for the betterment of every Liberian.

  19. Well we say thank to our teachers around Liberia, many students will say there new topics in the exam but, students are not putting time in their lessons


    Some weeks ago I wrote a comment regarding the 1 billion dollar loan to build our superhighway to connect our counties and hinterland. I m in no way against taking up such a gigantic project, especially so if it is in the interest of the people. I was only adding my opinion regarding an idea on how we could make use of a fraction of such loan to improve our science and higher institutions of learning, if we could invest a tiny fraction that loan toward that goal.

    Liberia, like any other African country, is blessed with an abundant natural resources. These resources were/ are in demand on the global market. They are in need by those who have the technical ability to transform them into manufactures goods and services to boost their various economic machines, that have transformed them to the status they are now enjoying. Our resources have risen then from mare consuming societies to manufacturing power houses, and powerful global military strength, only because they have trained man power to do so. Something that we are lacking, and are not willing to tilt toward that trend. Our natural resources have help fought so many global conflicts in the past. During the era of the six iron companies (1951-1982), and world largest Rubber production plant. Ores from Bong Range, Bomi Hills, Yekepa and so on ended up at plants far across the ocean in the production of armor tanks, helicopters, ships- rubbers from Liberia were used for the productions of military hard wares like: boots, uniforms, parachutes etc… We were the back bone of the economy that won the COLD WAR, and other auxiliary conflicts, yet today,our children are failing in their exams.

    Whilst, we slept at steering wheel of our great economy period(1950-1979), we didn’t have the thought that training and investing in our human resources was the best way out. If we take 25 % of the 1 billion loan (250,000,000) and invest in standard and up-to date institutions of learning, by 2055 our grand children will not import Chinese road builders and doctors no more.

    The primary norm in our society regarding development is : importing ‘trained technocrats’ to do our jobs. I m quite sure with a budget of 250 millions, we can build two prestigious, well equipped institutions that will train the next generations of mathematicians, biologist( micro biologists, anatomy and physiologists, applied sciences, physicists, chemists). This will boost our medical, and nursing fields. We will not be leaving Liberia go away for training, and high school seniors will not be massively failing in exams, like the one mentioned above. The mistake is already been made from the past, I m not holding anyone accountable; however, we can BREAK FROM THE THAT PERPETUAL NORMS, of importing people to do our jobs.

    Liberia has enough natural recourses than Cuba, however, Cuba has more trained medical doctors, that were trained in Cuba, than the whole of West Africa combine. Cuba is just the size of Togo.

    From: The science and Medical building, Sydney Australia

  21. The real problem with Liberia is not just the lack of a good education system but the lack of everything: from employment opportunities to good leaders to bad concession agreements to corruption, etc. If we must have a good and exemplary society where people will thrive and flourish, Liberian leaders must commit to an overhaul of the whole society. We need to begin to think and act differently, that is, change our minds and attitude. Only then will this country and its people prosper.

  22. This is our serious problem which we think needs to be adequately addressed by relevant authorities including the President, National Legislature, stakeholders, civil society group, school administrators along with the Ministry of Education in collaboration with WAEC Liberia. We are noted for setting a gargantuan record in our educational system which draws the attention of international communities. Let me publicly promulgate this as an SOS call that the national legislature needs to play a pivotal role in building our educational system. No country can succeed without a proper and balance education. As such, the government needs to be very strong and proactive in making sure that for every situations that is hampering the educational system of our country be treated well and also subsidize those private institutions by creating a perfect learning environment (provide quality text-books, some school equipment, policies for quality instructors) among others for the improvement of our students. Finally, the Ministry of Education with the sole responsibility of running the day to day activities of our educational system have over the past time performed very poorly; we have witnessed the continuous replacement of Ministers from past administration to present. We are appealing to the relevant authorities of the Ministry to implement those good policies and empower the monitoring and evaluation (supervision) department to engage all school administrators to abide by all rules and regulations (policies) of the Ministry and to also make sure that those school administrators should employed qualified instructors. By: Joe B. Cooper, Jr.

  23. As a school administrator, these results, I think in my mind should not alarm Liberians, nor discourage the young learning population. For us as a nation to officially attempt the exam this year is a plus, and a learning curve. The seed has been sown, and in a few years to come it will germinate and we all will see and reap the fruits. Bravo and congratulations to our schools system, and to especially to all those students who passed successfully.

  24. Government should make sure that all schools in have Lab before they can operate, it is very difficult for our students to pass physics, chmestry and biology, but their careers center around these subjects so we need more attention there, teachers should STOP taking money for grades see no talking to teachers for grade to pass. And to all pricinpals do not accept student from 10th grade because that’s the foundation for the exam thanks.

  25. I have serious problem with the making of the paper teacher want to make more money because the more papers you mark the more money you make so for that reason they didn’t want to waste their time on reading just do they feel like doing some of them don’t know the new book for literature but failed students because they want money

  26. This year examination bring a massive failure base on several factors
    1 lack of laboratories
    2 unqualified teachers
    3 first time on the examination

  27. every time we say students and the teachers? perhaps it is the Minister and his cronies who are not prepared and know nothing about the modern way of education. You put an old man there who been teaching since JJ Roberts and what do you expect? Weah, you need an administrator in that job.. Forget about this PhD for the minister, find somebody who can do the job and will do the job right. what about Sayegh, he always writing about education

  28. Causes of Mass Failures in Wassec
    1. Most of our students where not prepare properly from their elementary level. It will surprise you to know that some 12 graders can not spell and write properly.
    2. Another factor that led to the mass failure is the used of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,etc. by our students.
    3. Some schools employed teachers who are not qualified, the employed people who are just high school graduate and don’t have any knowledge in teaching. No teaching certificate to their credit.
    3.Our school time is very short. Most school runs their learning activities from 8:00 AM- 12:00 PM. Those classes runs for less than an hour. What do you expect the children to learn.

  29. There are a lot of factors responsible for the massive failure of students in public tests.
    Parents do not blame your children.
    “Who do we blame?”
    To outline a few:
    – Unqualified instructors
    – Sub-standard Schools (so many schools that do not meet modern standard)
    – Weak monitoring and Evaluation of educational staff (CEOs, DEOs, Principals, etc.)
    The above mentioned factors plus a lot more need to addressed to boost the education section in Liberia.

  30. I believe that the problems we students are facing in this country come from the Education Ministry. Why paid teachers per the paper they mark or correct? Students failed in subjects that they expected to pass and passed in those that they expected to fail. I am a student from the Billie Call Christian Institute( BCCI) located in Wood Camp,Paynesville. Take for example a student registered to take the exam a year or two ago. Badly, he died before the day of the test. When the result came, he passed. Why Liberian, if the papers should be corrected for even two months or above and corrected properly, pravo that do it in one month time and run over it without reading what the students wrote on their papers. Another way,since after the test the papers can be taken to be corrected, after the correction,let the ministry present the papers back to the students for clarification. Because there are some papers that cannot be corrected but at day’s end they select those that they wish to pass. It is actually bad in Liberia.

  31. No problem is the government of Liberia and mostly the Ministry of Education caused the problem for our children and our nation Liberia in satuation.How will your country is taking WASSCE,you do have a good laboratory,look are the reference in Margibi County with three District Education,like the Marshall Education District all the senior high schools in that district two schools have laboratory.No laboratory in the government sector,how will the children do the practical work? Your please do something this is our land,home and our nation.Nobody have a highest and not going to school is impossible.

  32. No problem is the government of Liberia and mostly the Ministry of Education caused the problem for our children and our nation Liberia in this satuation.How will your country is taking WASSCE,you do have a good laboratory,look are the reference in Margibi County with three District Education,like the Marshall Education District all the senior high schools in that district two schools have laboratory.No laboratory in the government sector,how will the children do the practical work? Your please do something this is our land,home and our nation.Nobody have a highest and not going to school is impossible.


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