The Minister of Education George K. Werner has somersaulted on a previous decision to halt administering the West African examinations to Liberian schools this year.
In a letter addressed to Dr. Iyi Uwadiae, Registrar West African Examinations Council (WAEC), dated June 5, Minister Werner requested for an adjustment in Liberia’s test schedules in order to meet government’s adjustment in the school system.
According to his letter, “There will be no WASSCE nor WAEC in 2015 for school based candidates. Instead, we are requesting the examinations be given in May 2016.”
Werner also attempted to revert the academic year to September-June and abolish the current February-September this year.
He was accused of describing the current enrollment as “study class” an assertion that prompted his appearance at the Legislature.
Appearing before the House of Representatives yesterday in Monrovia, Werner denied ever making these assertions, but said the national consultation embarked upon by his ministry was the agenda initiated by the ministry.
At first, Werner noted that information about changing the academic calendar as it was being reported in the media was “completely false.”
He defended by saying, “What is in sight now is the proposal from the consultation which has to reach the President’s office first before coming to the Legislature.”
When quizzed by many lawmakers on his June 5, letter to WAEC, Accra, Ghana, Werner reverted his previous denial position and admitted to writing the letter, but said his letter to WAEC was just to inform the body and that any decision relative to these adjustments would have been communicated to the Legislature before any further action.
Meanwhile, plenary overwhelmingly voted that the Education Minister make an important press statement that would be published or aired in about seven media outlets.
According to the mandate of the highest decision making body of the House, Werner is to immediately communicate with Accra, recalling his previous letter with a commitment to maintain the current system in order to prepare students for their exams.
He was also asked to communicate a copy of said letter to the House of Representatives in fulfillment of plenary mandate.